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To play or not to play?

February 17th, 2010 by marina

Well, this is the question, here are the facts:
I play basketball since I was a little kid, for 21 years now, on a local league in Athens, Greece. Since I’m not a pro, sometimes I got paid, some others not, which is the most common case. I was encouraged to turn into pro sometimes from my coaches, but that was not something I wanted, this is my hobby for AGES now, it is my passion, my whole life, something I didn’t ever want to do professionally and lose all its values. This is the way I see it.
I have been a part of many teams until today and I can say from the bottom of my heart, that I had a fantastic time to most of them, as far as the girls and coaches were concerned. However, if I search deeper, to the heart of each team, I never felt I was secure to none of them, nobody really paid a cent for me for minor injuries or PTs ever (or to other girls). This sure is a big issue (not to be solved here), but this is the reality, this is a fact and I’m just presenting things as they are, to help me get a decision. When it comes to mind, I think that I’m 33 years old, married recently, got a great husband and of course family that love me the most. I’d like to have my own family sometime and be able to do things for my kids and have a normal life. It is wise to say I’d stop basketball now, I don’t want to get through the same again or destroy my feet.
But when it comes to heart…this was really my last season, but was cut off very early. Only played 5 games. I don’t know if this is another excuse to keep on playing, but this is the way I feel. I don’t want to stop it because of an accident, I’d like to stop it because I say so. Because I’m prepared to stop it. Because I have decided to stop, no injury can decide for me. I see every Sunday my teammates playing and I’m so jealous, I want to play with them so badly!

My doctor says that my foot will be stronger than ever now, but I’m so afraid that I might tear the other one, or maybe same, that I think that even if I play, I will not be able to enjoy it. I’ll certainly miss all the fun. They say that time heals everything, but I don’t have time. I’m not at my 20s anymore. Really confused on what to do…

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4 Responses to ' To play or not to play? '

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  1. "Frouchie" or "Grouchie", or just "Chris" said,

    on February 17th, 2010 at 6:38 am

    I know the pain of doing something you love to do and know you might have to give it up. For me it was bicycling. I was semi pro in cycling, a very long time ago. But I had some injuries too that took me out for a period of time. I too had to make a choice of stopping or trying to make it back once I was healed. After a lot of soul searching and time to think clearly, I made the decision to walk away. I still ride with my family and friends AND I still leave them in my dust, but I find joy in knowing I can still ride instead of not being able to ride at all anymore should I have injured myself again.

    I look at life as seasons of the year. The seasons are always changing and so is life. We live with each season for only but a time, then it will change and so do we.

    It won’t be easy to walk away from your Basketball life, but as long as you have family and friends that love you and support you in the decision you make…it will be easier. You’ll still have the memories and the stories to share with everyone.

    I wish you the best with the decisions you are needing to make.

  2. retiredfrombball said,

    on February 17th, 2010 at 10:29 am

    As you can see from my name, I hurt mine playing basketball and I’m done. I am older and only play at the local level but I don’t think I could go though this again. I did weight training and stretching for my achilles but I believe basketball is just too hard on it (notice all the posts that say they hurt it playing basketball). I think the key to your decision is can you go through this again? Statistically you probably won’t get hurt again but this injury has been too hard on me to ever go through it again (plus as I mentioned, I am 15 years older).

  3. normofthenorth said,

    on February 17th, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    And here’s the voice of somebody who’s made the OTHER decision, so far. I tore my right AT 8 years ago (at 56 years old!) playing competitive 6-on-6 court volleyball with a bunch of younger guys. It’s a great sport for tearing ATs, right up there with basketball (and squash, badminton, football, soccer. . .).

    I was always planning to return to competitive volleyball if I was able to, and I was, and did. After it healed and strengthened, my repaired ankle didn’t ever dorsiflex as much as before, but my athletic performance was unimpaired — and so was my love of volleyball.

    In fact, I started also playing beach volleyball, including 4-on-4 and even 2-on-2 — a truly BRUTAL game! And I switched from 6-on-6 court volleyball to 4-on-4, on a full-sized court — again, more aggressive and brutal than before! (Most of the players are 30-ish, plus or minus. Nobody my age, and hardly anybody 10 or 15 years younger!)

    Whenever anybody asked me if I was nervous about re-rupturing my right AT, I told them the truth: I had MORE confidence in that AT than any other part of my body — but I was nervous about the left one.

    Well, 7 years of terrific volleyball later, I did tear the left one, and I’m still recovering (almost 10 weeks after “getting the boot” — no surgery this time!).

    I don’t regret it for a minute, but that’s me. I also know that I can’t keep this up forever — playing more and more aggressive and energetic sports, as I get older and more brittle! — but I’m having a blast at it so far, and I want to keep going until I can’t contribute to a team at a level I want to play at.

    Nobody can — or should — make your decision for you. And there’s no pressure either way — e.g., no shame in quitting basketball after an ATR.

    I’ve made a few life-changing decisions myself without even knowing if I made the right decision until I woke up with a smile on my face the next morning!

  4. marina said,

    on February 19th, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    My PT said I would be so unlucky if I tear my left tendon playing basketball, again. It sure is a difficult decision and as long as I go to the games on Sundays, I won’t be able to forget it that easily. I try not to regret on things or decisions I’ve made and I certainly won’t if bad luck strikes again, I’m an active person anyway, so I guess it can happen anywhere from racquets on the beach to the gym.
    I have plenty of time to think about it and that’s the only thing that has conquered my mind lately. But I guess, whatever I decide now, will be forgotten soon as I pass the 4 court lines, or not.
    Thanks for all good advices and experiences so far, sharing here is really encouraging :)

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    • marina has completed the grueling 26.2 ATR miles to full recovery!
      Goal: 365 days from the surgery date.
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  • ATR Timeline

    • Name: marina
      Location: Athens, Greece
      Injured during: basketball
      Which Leg: R
      Status: 2-Shoes

      688 wks Post-ATR
      687 wks  1 day
         Since start of treatment