the inciting incident

and I became whole again ’cause no one said there’d be times like these.

— Portugal. The Man.

One night in September of 2019, I went to sub in for a soccer game. I was feeling good. Fast, strong, smart, ready to play hard. I warmed up the normal way.

Got out on the pitch started the game feeling really good and loose. Playing right wing. Our defense was moving the ball really well laterally so I would be able to line up on the wing ready for any outlet passes like normal.

On a particular break out, I found my way behind the other team’s defenders so I yelled for the pass and it came my way. Got the pass in stride on the inside of my right foot right where I wanted it at midfield. It was a perfect pass. I only had their last defender to get around and it would be only me and the goalie with a great short side angle at the net.

As I got the pass, and began to go through how I was going to beat the last defender. He was pretty far on the outside so I could just cut inside and then get a clear shot at the net.

As I angled away from the side line and then found I have a clear site of the net, I took my last stride and planted my left foot to line up a strike at the goal. Just as I did that. A back checking defender ran straight through my left leg. POP!

My momentum carried me forward and I collapsed on the pitch. I knew I had done something bad, there was no way I was going to be getting up and playing. I had to be carried off the field. I sat there on ground and contemplated what had just happened. My knee was completely messed up.

Only a few months ago I had sprained my MCL, this one felt different immediately. I kept telling myself that it was the same, but no way. Something was really wrong. I crawled to where my team was on the sideline.

This is the inciting incident. Somehow I need to get through this, I don’t know how but I still have things to do. I got a marathon to run, I have kids to raise, I have sports to play and I’m not done being competitive. I need 10 more years. I need this.