March 21, 2017. A day I will always remember.
It was 4 days before my birthday, a Tuesday, and I was supposed to meet a friend after work. We also play basketball in a corporate league on Tuesdays, but I hadn’t played in several weeks as I let a sore knee heal. My co-workers asked me to come to the game, so I brought some basketball clothes just in case I wasn’t going to meet my friend.
Turns out, my friend needed to reschedule. So basketball it was.
I’m not sure if I just didn’t stretch enough before the game. Maybe it was the 3-4 weeks of not playing. I was still lifting at the gym 3-4 times a week, but no running or cardio.
Either way, as soon as I subbed into the game, on roughly the third possession I got deep position in the low post and signaled to our point guard to pass. He instructed me to come to his direction, passed me the ball, and I instantly turned and pivoted hard cutting to the basket. As soon as I pushed off my back foot (right foot), I heard a loud POP.
It felt like someone with heavy Timberland boots stomped on my heel with all their power.
I actually thought someone on the other team tried to harm me purposely. I fell instantly to the ground and grabbed my ankle yelling obscenities. Looking around, there was no one on the other team, or mine for that matter, close enough to me to have hit me.
My teammates helped me up and I knew right away something was wrong. I couldn’t press down with my heel, almost as if there was a bubble of air under my heel that wouldn’t let it step down.
I knew something was wrong and headed to the E.R. And thank god I did.
They did some X-Rays to make sure there were no broken bones, but they confirmed they believed it was a torn achilles and provided me with a plastic splint wrapped in bandages and crutches. Being non-weight bearing immediately was really smart looking back.
Three days later, that Friday, I saw an Orthopedic Surgeon and he told me there was no need for an MRI. This was a complete tear, he’d seen it countless times in his 30 year career, and we would need surgery ASAP. The earliest they could get me in was that upcoming Tuesday.
So as I waited that weekend, my birthday weekend, for the upcoming surgery, I decided that since the tendon was torn anyways I might as well make the best of it and go out with friends for my birthday. Crutches or not, nothing was going to bring me down.
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