Calling for a Spare

March 22, 2024 – Injured

I started to write about this topic last week but felt like I was hypothesizing so abandoned my approach to that blog post. Call it irony or serendipity, the hypothetical became true. I am injured. I spared last night for another team. I didn’t stretch and gradually my left hip and right Achilles heel felt strained. Throwing rocks became impossible. At that point, I saw the clear alignment between the mental game and the physical game. By the end of the game, I had neither. I’m disheartened.

Pain denial is real. I did not want to believe that I was not feeling my best after a couple of ends of play, but persisted and continued to play. Over time, I could not concentrate on my shot mid-slide. It was kind of a “crap-shoot” by the time I released the rock and I hoped for the best. The quality of my play rapidly declined as the game progressed. I was feeling horrible… physically and emotionally. A strong start… lead to a “meh” end. We lost the game. We gave the other team a 4-ender. I played third, and again, I felt out of place. Lots to reflect on from sparing in this curling game.

There is no better learning than the counterexample. I learned that lesson from Dr. Peter Liljedahl in math education. Here we are at the counterexample. I took some Advil last night and a hot bath to warm up after the game before going for bed. I had hoped to wake up this morning with a new outlook… and no pain. Nope. That wish was not meant to be. I woke and send a text message to my Friday night team that I could not play due to injury. I needed a spare. What is disappointing about not playing tonight, besides not playing, is that tonight is our last night of play in this year’s curling season. Luckily, my injured skip said that he is willing to return to the game tonight. Whew. This news brought me some solace. I’ll be watching tonight.

Although this is not the way I wanted to end the curling season, I am so grateful for all of the lessons I am experiencing and learning from. As mentioned, I am out of the game tonight due to an injury. I had to swallow my pride and park my ego to ask for help… a spare for tonight’s game. If I was true to myself, I have to be vulnerable and honest with how I am feeling and act accordingly. Asking for help is humbling. You don’t know how it will turn out, but trusting in oneself, the outcome will always surprise you. I guess this is surrendering to the situation. You can’t control the outcome. I can’t make myself feel better (i.e., heal my injuries overnight). What I can control are my actions. I had to ask for help. I am so grateful that it’s my skip.