Cast Off

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Today, my son got his cast removed. Hooray!

He’s been cleared to try out for soccer at his high school starting Monday, but has to take it easy on the hand for four more weeks before his final checkup with the specialist. During tryouts, he’s to buddy-tape his pinky and ring finger together, and definitely avoid push-ups and goalkeeper exercises.

Fingers crossed. Knock wood. Pray hard.

That’s about all we can do, other than keep our options open.

On the drive home, I geared my son up for every possible outcome — mostly, to beef up his mental strength. Moral of the story from last spring’s disastrous, blind-siding Premier tryouts: Don’t put your everything into one thing without a backup plan.

Soccer players have been known to start strong, only to bow out due to injury (look at Gordon Ramsay) or a health scare (Dempsey). Some make a comeback (Dempsey, thank G-d). Others find themselves on another course (Ramsay).

Same goes for famous singers. Those who live and die by the voice, flounder around helplessly, in a constant state of depression for what was, refusing to even consider the possibility that they can help in some other capacity.

Julie Andrews, Shania Twain, these singers will never be the same again after their physical ailments.

Fate has a way of coming around the bend and really fucking you over when you least expect it.

This doesn’t meant to hedge your bets or live in a perennial state of what-if. Go for it 1,000 percent, all the way, all or nothing.

But don’t give up when life calls you somewhere else just when a momentous event draws near.

It’s not the end of the world if you don’t make tryouts. If you get injured the day of (like a friend did), or hell, if you get wiped out entirely from the race for most of your life.

There’s always another path, another way of looking at your calling. It may not be what you’d planned. But it may be the best thing to ever happen to you.

Just be open to … the possibilities. Whatever happens, be grateful because it could always be worse.

There were so many dreams I had growing up, and so many more I had to give up. I’m still discovering who I want to be and I’m well into my 50s. I really love to see other people live out their dreams as well, even if it comes from left field. Those are the best ones.

Right now, I’m so very grateful my son’s fractured pinky is healing up. It’s almost a miracle, even though broken bones heal every day all the time.

We take nothing for granted in our household. Believe me.

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