I started playing soccer when I was 5 years old. I played competitively since I was 11 and went to college on a soccer scholarship. After college, I even practiced some with a semi-professional women’s team. After that, I continued to play for fun on both coed and women’s teams until I was about 3 months pregnant with my 1st child. But that is what changed me. Even after coming back after my child was born, I found myself playing differently. Off the field I tend to be a laid back, mild-mannered person. On the field, my personality was different. I was aggressive and fearless. I found that when I had to consider my career as a chiropractor and being a mom, I played more hesitantly. I went into tackles less aggressively and I overall did not have the same joy that I did before both short term and long term injuries were on my mind.
So when deciding one day whether or not to sign up for another season, I took a step back to figure out why I should or shouldn’t continue to play. Two things stood out to me.
1. Injury is much more likely when you play passively. For instance, if you go into a tackle half-heartedly, you will eventually get hurt
2. I have seen what people look and feel like after competing in soccer past a certain point. They have trouble doing other activities, sometimes everyday activities, because of “old ankle/knee injuries”. I see how they limp around days after their last game and their overall recovery is tough on their body. This isn’t always the case but for many it is.
That being said, I chose to quit contact sports and focus my fitness attention on activities that are less likely to cause more serious injuries. I left the sport I loved to preserve my body for the other activities I really like. To stay active, I hike, bike, walk, play tennis, kayak, etc. I chose to engage in less risky activities to minimize long term damage to my body. Was this the right choice? For me it was.
Be healthy, take care of yourself, and nurture the body that you will have forever.
Northwest Wellness, Federal Way