Life on the Pro Circuit: A Follow Up

 

My last article placed a roadblock in the hero’s journey and I left the protagonist injured, a journalistic faux pas akin to unbuttoning someone’s trousers and then walking away.  Apologies to the reader for my irresponsibility.

The kid has been diagnosed with a severe concussion and, four days later, is still having some trouble remembering dates – no it’s not 2008 – and distinguishing colors. Last night, after a few uneventful wheelchair journeys through crowded airports, we arrived back in the City of Angels with its ever-burgeoning traffic and unyielding pretension.  This morning she had an appointment with her physio, who put her through a series of balance tests and determined she might be better off visiting a Betty Ford clinic.  Sorry, levity is my defense mechanism for countering crushing depression.

Assuming she heals properly, it will be at least a week before she can start hitting again, and, frankly, I’m looking forward to getting her back on the court.  The medical reports said everything was clean and she’d be 100% soon enough.  Seeing a student laid out on a stretcher with a neck brace around her throat, however, can quell a coach and I confess to being a little anxious about all of this.  We’re talking about the future of a pretty talented sixteen-year old who’s put a lot of time and dedication into a rather unforgiving sport.   Universities and scholarships sit on the porch outside her front door, as though it were a hospital waiting room.  When we start chasing the dragon again, I’ll be tempted to mess up the scores just to poke a little fun, but I’m counting on my empathetic nature to win that battle.

I guess not all journeys end with some intense climactic moment.  Sometimes the hero just decides to hit the ice bath and get back in the gym for a while.  But then, isn’t that what we want from our heroes – to know that they can fail, and heal, and get back up so they can cross the bridge into the sunset.

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By ccxander

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