Just (don’t) do it!


Let us count the ways I am not like an NFL player:

My shoulders are nice, but I wouldn’t call them broad.
My weight doesn’t begin with a 2 or a 3.
My height doesn’t begin with “6 foot.”
No one is planning to give me a $28 million bonus. (Go, Payton!)

Let us count the ways I am like an NFL player.

I’m a decent football player, albeit retired now. (1968-1970 Kill the Man with the Ball, Steve Schaub’s backyard)
I like to do a little dance when I cross a goal line.
I have a coach. (Hi, Dave!)
My team depends on me.
And, of course, as of 7:45 a.m. January 9, 2012, I have now been concussed.

It was a dark and stormy night. No. It was dark, but not stormy, and it was morning. Having suddenly become a two-car family over the weekend (car #4 at college with daughter #1, and car #3 sold for cash on the barrelhead), we decided I would drive Greg to work so Joel and I could each have a car this week instead of leaving the egg in the Toyota parking lot to maybe have her catalytic converter stolen again. On Mondays, though, I also need to drive Anna-Jessie to PEP, so after dropping Greg at work, and taking the scenic route out of the parking lot (pesky hidden exits), I picked up Anna-Jessie and we headed to PEP.

Normally, I drop her off at the door and keep right on going. Yesterday, I decided to stop in and say hello to everyone. As I’m already always striding purposefully forth, I was going at a nice clip when I decided to leap ahead and open the door for Anna-Jessie. My croc got stuck on the sidewalk, which propelled me forward, running at warp speed about 6 feet right into the door, headfirst.

About 12 hours later, after a day of knowing my head hurt and taking it easy, I was at the doctor’s office where I found out I had a concussion. His prescription: 24 hours of doing *nothing.” Nothing mentally challenging, not even reading. No physical activity either. I suggested we post-date the 24 hours and start them at the time of impact, but he didn’t think that was a good idea. Then, after 24 hours of nothing, I am to do 24 hours of mental activity only, but still no physical. Then 24 hours of mental and light physical, etc. Fortunately, he was preaching to the choir about the importance of eliminating the symptoms of concussion, so I gladly undertook 24 hours of nothing. (ok, 20).

During the day yesterday when I was unaware of the actual diagnosis, I had put on my new nike outfit so I could get warm. The tights have “Just Do It” printed on the side. Somehow I don’t think Nike meant that to apply to doing nothing. But that is what I needed to just do.

A few reflections::

I noticed that my concussed brain can tell the difference between my own original thoughts and dreams, and the words and images that come from outside, and that it’s nice sometimes to just be quiet with my own thoughts.

I observed that I am quite attached to my phone, with facebook, texts, words with friends, and my kindle all at my fingertips, and I missed all of those things! I love the contact I have with people, even if it’s virtual!

I experienced that taking it easy, doing nothing, was a really good idea for my brain and that I feel better having had some rest.

I decided that lying down in a public place on a tile floor is not the least embarrassing when I feel like I am going to faint.

I had it re-affirmed that my kids are super troupers.

I recognized that I need to pick my feet up higher when I wear my crocs, if I’m even going to keep wearing them.

I saw that my instinctive question “Why did this happen?” was about wanting to find some sort of control in the situation.

I noticed that this experience threw me off of what I was expecting and planning to do yesterday, today and this week, and I’m curious about what these days will hold instead.

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