Watch the Kobe video at The Players Tribune – Usually, I’m a hater if content is made unavailable for other websites to post and link back to, but I will make an exception here because its something a little different. They still get the hits and video plays and they can use those numbers for advertising, but I digress. Anyways.
I’m posting this for two reasons, 1) Noted soccer supporter / LA Laker / Top 5 player imho of all time Kobe Bryant possibly having to come to the realization that his playing career may be over and 2) its incredibly interesting video of a big time athlete getting diagnosed with a season-ending injury I think can start a discussion and give us a some insight to a much bigger and fun discussion of athletes pain threshold, injuries, surgeries and expectations.
The bigger discussion, and what hit me like a ton of bricks is just how at ease and calm he is as he’s going through a battery of tests and being told that a muscle has ripped apart from the bone in his shoulder. The doctor even says something interesting: “The thing I can’t tell is how long you’ve had this injury.” Wait, what… so basically, he’s been playing with this for weeks, possibly months, and some trauma happened recently that “completed” the injury?
The diagnosis and calmness about saying its torn, I get, because he’s had many injuries over his career (as a ton of athletes have) and at some point you know your body is jacked up and you take it with a grain of salt.
When we hear and read about athletes saying that they are always in pain, or that there is a difference between being hurt and injured, is very interesting because what is the line? And on a macro level, what is the difference between a Kobe Bryant type, other elite athletes, good athletes, bad athletes, etc.
Is it all mental? Is it genetics? Is it a learned thing? Is it need and want based? Is it some kind of weird emotional thing? Is it some kind of mental illness type of thing (not in a bad way, but in a wired differently type of way).
That’s one thing, the other thing that I’ve always been really impressed with, is just how willing athletes are to get surgery. Its surprising to me that guys repeatedly go under the knife and that its something that is expected on a lot of levels and something that we as supporters and fans don’t even think about…. these guys are getting fucking surgery.
I’ve never had a surgery. I hope to never have to have a surgery. Personally, I’m scared to death of surgery. I’m surprised that more guys don’t balk at having to have surgery.
Surgery is really hard on your body. Mentally and physically. Surgery is dangerous. Recovery is hard and dangerous. In real life, surgery I suppose, is always the last option. But for athletes, its different.
Maybe its the drive of competition, and wanting to help out your team and teammates, that you want to get back whole again as soon as possible and surgery is the best option. Maybe its because athletes are going to have the absolute best care available, and they deal with the physio everyday, so it makes it easier to comprehend. Maybe its something that is in contracts or in CBA’s, that in the case of an injury, they have to make a good faith effort to be remedied as soon as possible.
Obviously, there are situations where surgery is the only option so you have to get it… Obviously, there are cases where if you don’t get surgery, natural healing, could inhibit your ability to perform, so you have to do surgery. But, I’m just typing out stuff, because the video is so interesting.
Dunny was a top level athlete. He’s been injured and has had surgery, and expected to get back in tip top, I’m going to ask him about it from a players perspective and he’ll get in here and write some stuff up about after he calls a game today….
~~ I wake up in pain every single morning…. I can barely stand up straight when getting out of bed most mornings… I can still run / jog / play soccer / mountain bike / Tough Mudder… But the next morning is awful.
I understand COMPLETELY when ex-athletes reach for the bottle… Or the medicinal… Because it takes the edge off the constant pain reminder throughout the day. Don’t let this confuse you for a single second – I’d do it all over 100% of the time. But after one 14 month cycle, I had knee meniscus surgery, 5th metetarsal surgey, 5th metetarsal surgery again + a bone graft out of my hip and now for the last 10 years have been contemplating back surgery for a broken L4 & L5, I had to walk away from the game. And then there are the six concussions I suffered when I was playing….
Every athlete plays through pain. Most take medication to deal with it. Some struggle with it behind the scenes more than you realize….. Always keep that in mind.