Hi Teammates!

“ADMITTING PAIN IS NOT A SIGN OF WEAKNESS!” I have to remind myself of that alot these days. Old habits die hard, and as an athlete for so many years, I would tell myself the exact opposite. I never liked to go to the doctor, get massages, or any physiotherapy unless I absolutely needed it. Unfortunately for me, I have a high pain threshold. If I went to the doctor, I was in PAIN. Oh, and I also hate to take pain medicine. I am still that way. I hardly ever get sick, but I never like to admit that I am getting sick because as soon as I admit it, I will be practically on my deathbed. I am fortunate that I seem to be a quick healer, so I can usually hide an illness or something hurting until it heals on its own.

Why am I like this? I have always been an ultra-competitive person and as a pro, I would look for the slightest sign of weakness of an opponent that I could exploit. I imagined that my opponents did the same with me. This led me to hide injuries. I wouldn’t even get my ankles taped unless they could not be seen under my socks. The worst thing for me after I broke my leg was that I wore a sleeve on my leg (see picture) for the rest of my career. I have a rather large lump on the front of my shin due to the break and I wore the sleeve solely for cosmetic reasons because I didn’t want my opponent to think I was still injured. I thought it looked kinda cool so I didn’t mind too much. This was way before wearing sleeves became “en vogue” like now.

In January I will go for my second surgery in the last three months. In October it was my back. The next will be a partial knee replacement. The back was a kind of freak accident, but likely has to do with all the years of playing ball. The knee, however, is a direct result of playing all those years. The wear and tear caught up to me now that I am getting older, but in truth, I should have gotten this surgery years ago. Instead of going to the doc, I didn’t want to admit that with every step I took, I felt pain. Every single step…how messed up is my head that I put myself through that for at least the last 12 years? You would think that in my advanced age, I would be wise enough to lose that senselessly macho idea of being weak by going to the doc. As I said before, old habits die hard, but I am working on it. Heed my words the next time you are trying to decide if you need to see a doctor and just GO! Your body will thank me later.

Thank you for taking the time to read my words!

Sean

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