I have always been someone who tries to find the positive in situations. But it was hard to find the silver lining when Michael broke his foot and learned he would be off his foot for eight weeks.
“Why would this happen to me? Why am I being punished so long for one stupid decision?”
Not having an answer was brutal. Michael has questioned his faith, particularly regarding the church’s positions on homosexuality and divorce. Eight plus weeks of punishment for a split-second decision is a lot to process, especially when that split-second occurs two days before baseball tryouts.
Michael has done all the work to recover, mostly without being reminded. He’s done his stretching exercises, practiced pitching and hitting, worn his calf protector, and learned to use the TENS machine. He’s tracked his progress and pain on a graphic organizer I created and shared for him, making more meticulous notes than his orthopedic doctor requested. After she suggested barefoot running to awaken the tendons and muscles that have lay quiet while he was in a cast, he runs up and down our long driveway a few times a day. He wants to improve and is doing the work to get where he needs to be.
After tracking his progress for two weeks, he convinced his doctor to let him return to baseball early, with the promise to continue to follow his pain. His coaches put him on first base, where he could (mostly) stay in one place and not have players sliding into him. He preferred outfield but knew he could not chase line drives with his injury and, just happy to be playing, took the base. Little did we know then, but he would find his home. He excels at first base!
So as we try to find the positive in this challenging experience, this injury has led Michael to his calling. While we wish he had never broken his foot, his broken foot took him to a place where he shines. He’s learned critical lessons about perseverance and strength. He’s learned the importance of managing frustration. He’s also learned that people will try their best to support people when they see that he needs help. As a result of his hard work, he reached his goal of making an aau team.