In May 2011, I was presented with the opportunity to play full contact football one more time. It had been eighteen years since I last played and Gridiron Alumni had arranged a charity alumni football game for my high school teammates and I to play our old high school rival. I had always been interested in coaching football and because I was in excellent physical shape (I had just completed the exercise program “Insanity”), I signed up as a coach and a player.
Game day arrived on May 28th and I was physically and mentally ready to suit up and knock heads. Before the game, I decided that this would be the last football game I would ever participate in so I took time to appreciate the moment, enjoy my past and present teammates, and soak it all in.
When the game began and I stepped on the field as a defensive back, I felt like I borrowed Marty McFly’s Delorean and traveled back in time to my senior year of 1994. The first half was absolutely amazing as I had four tackles and a Quarterback sack. As a defensive football player there is no better feeling than putting a big hit on a QB. During half time, I was riding the highest of natural highs!
The second half was a different story. At the end of the third quarter, I dove to block a pass and when I landed on my shoulder I felt and heard a loud snap. Intense pain instantly transported me “Back to the Future” and into my 35 year old body. Gravity and the ground, shattered my collar bone into three pieces and I had surgery, where metal plates and screws were inserted, to repair the damage. Surgery was a success and after a few months of rehab I was back to being active. Nine months after the first surgery I had a second one to remove the hardware and screws (see photo below). It feels so much better to have that junk out of my body and to be back to normal.
Although I believe I have many more years of being athletic and pushing myself to progress on sports’ fields, this injury has taught me that physical progression, or as I call it “Getting Rad”, should not take precedence over everything in my life. I now know that developing my talents as a writer, producer, and entertainer while staying physically fit (with a little skateboarding and soccer) are my main priorities. You live and you learn.