When I was younger, I played a ton of video games. I have no idea how I had the time to play video games so much and play soccer and go to school and like eat and sleep, but I did it.
From the time my parents bought us our very first Nintendo, my siblings and I were hooked on Super Mario, Duck Hunt, that boxing game with Mike Tyson, all of them.
So many times while we were playing though, the game would freeze and we would have to do something we didn’t really want to do but knew we had to do, hit the reset button.
Hitting reset usually meant that everything you had just worked for was lost, in a sense, and you started the game over again. In another sense, nothing was really lost at all.
Everything you worked for up until that point hadn’t been forgotten. You knew how to get back to that point in the game again. It just meant that it would take you longer to beat it than expected.
In life, like in video games, the knowledge you build is still yours even if the attempt was “a failure”. By failure I mean, you didn’t finish the task in your first attempt.
Things happen that are outside our control, like the video game freezing, that give us the opportunity to start over again. See what I did there? Give us the opportunity… to start over… again.
We learned a lot on the first attempt. In fact, we learned so much that we can likely get up to the point of “failure” again pretty easily. Or at least without as much difficulty as the first time.
So here I am. Six days away from my one-year anniversary of ACL surgery and I have something to say:
I’m not where I thought I would be a year ago. I thought I would be further along. There are lots of reasons for this. The most important reason is that every person is different. Every injury is different. Every timeline is different. And I’m no exception to that. So, I still have some work to do. I have some things that need to change. Like the way I train, and my expectations. Those two things changing will make a huge difference.
Luckily, I’m surrounded by enough great people that this is all possible. At this point, I think it would be easy for people to give up on me, but no one has. And if they have, they haven’t shown me or told me yet. For that, I’m forever grateful. If it hasn’t been clear in everything I’ve ever done or said here, playing soccer is the most joyous thing I’ve ever experienced. It was when I was five years old; it still is at 31.
When you find the most joyous thing you’ve ever experienced, no matter how many times you have to reset, you’ll do anything to keep doing it.
Unlike video games, this reset doesn’t help me get to an end point. This reset helps me to get to more resets. If I stop resetting, I have stopped trying to get better. And if I have stopped trying to get better, then please punch me in the face.
My reset didn’t happen on a Monday. Or the first of the month. Or the first of the year. I didn't even wait until the end of the season. Remember that you can hit reset at any point in your life that you need a change. Don’t wait for the right time because that likely will never come.