I wrote this poem last fall about a persistent injury that has held me back from things that I've wanted to do. Our bodies always seem to know before our mind does.

* * *


I try to shrug you off but your temper rises,

The warranty had already expired.

You took and took from what used to be the perfect plan,

Depleting the oxygen from within me leaving me to die.

My strict lifestyle was too much for you to handle,

The hours and hours of training caused you to collapse

At the base of my being you couldn’t hold me nor the weight I stacked on.

Crushing my dreams was the only way we both could survive,

You worked hard and I only hoped that we could go bigger.

Putting on a jersey to represent

My country — My sport — My family — My self

The wear and tear I put on you wasn’t fair,

So you returned the favor with piercing pain.

I thought I would eventually get used to it,

The training room held a pillow and a blanket waiting for my return.

The more I pushed, the harder you worked

Sending the agony up through all my body.

Medicine and tape no longer enough

The crumbles of ice began to cry as they knew it was time

To focus on what was really important,

The distinction between what I love and what was right for me.