Wendel is down (for a short bit) … but is certainly not out!


Recently I joined an outdoor men’s soccer team in preparation for our potential REPLAY game. Now, we haven’t heard anything from Gatorade but I am being optimistic and want to be ready for the Gatorade training camp (two months long) in the event we receive the green light in late summer.

NOTE: training camp for the fortunate schools is Fall ’09 (Sep/Oct) and REPLAY #2 will likely occur in early November.

The great part about this soccer league, it‘s comprised of teams from around New York representing all five boroughs and the players, competition and overall environment is awesome.

My goal is to get in shape and more importantly get in ‘game shape’ prior to training camp. Losing weight, improving my endurance and overall soccer game is my mission over the summer months.

Last week, I was involved in a full-speed collision with a striker on the opposing team and both of us sustained injuries. I’ve come to find out my ribs are fractured and this is a first for me. Despite playing soccer for many years and sustaining a broken right arm and ACL/meniscus tear this is the first time I’ve had a rib injury. And Antonio (who hails from Italy) dislocated his shoulder on the play where the shorter Antonio and I collided at full tilt while battling for a loose ball – and the shorter Antonio’s shoulder and my ribs became well acquainted.

The ironic part is being injured after playing soccer is by far the best feeling. For years I ran in 5K, 10K and 15K road races (and one half-marathon) and it’s common to sustain shin splints, knee injuries, etc. Those injuries are more nagging; whereas, my fractured ribs injury actually feels great because I was mixing it up on the field and thrashing my body around like I was 16/17 again.  It is the best feeling and I know this may sound odd but perhaps others will relate.

The downside is I’ve never felt this type of pain before and find myself taking the simplest things for granted: sneezing, coughing, laughing or breathing deeply.

I’ve found that this injury only makes me more dedicated and excited for our potential REPLAY.

In the spirit of our REPLAY campaign, “celebrate life; live out loud; and KICK IT!”

More details to come soon!


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