It’s hard to describe it. The feeling a WAG gets in the pit of her stomach when her man goes down on the field. Normally he jumps right back up after a tackle. But sometimes, he doesn’t. Sometimes, he lies there a little longer than you know he should. The trainers and team doctors corral around him and…wait, he still isn’t up? Why isn’t he up?! Come on babe, please just stand up. But he doesn’t.
And that’s when it drops - the head, the heart, the stomach… all of it.
We all know what football rhetoric sounds like when the topic is injuries. “That’s just football.”
As if it wouldn’t be without the injuries.
It’s all in the nature of the game - WE KNOW. These guys aren’t just athletic, they’re physical. They’re stronger than most men have to be as it relates to what they do for a living. They’re built for this. But that doesn’t make it any easier to see your world lying on the field in pain while being watched by millions of eyes and knowing you can’t do a thing about it.
Our instinct is to run. As fast and as hard as we can until we’re at their side but we can’t. We’re stuck watching. While everyone around us is running to the concession stands for the “TV time-out”, we stay stuck there just holding our breaths and waiting for some sign of his condition.
This is the reality of a real woman out there each and every time a man goes down on the field, on the court or on the ice.
For WAGs, It isn’t something we like to talk about. Just the first paragraph alone can flip stomachs over. Ideally, (odd word to use considering nothing about this is ideal) - the injury keeps him out a few weeks, and with some rigorous rehabbing, he’s able to bounce back. But sometimes, the injury is too severe. It’s season-ending. And as a WAG, it’s heartbreaking.
In some instances, the recovery is more intimidating than the injury itself. Caring for the physicality of it is tough, but trying to manage and limit the emotional toll an injury can take on your man and on your family as a whole is an entirely different thing. Like most difficult things in life, it comes with no manual. It’s scary.
I’ve found, though, that by simply talking about the thing that scares us, we take away it’s power. Maybe that’s the reason behind choosing this topic. I can’t imagine I’m the only one who needs it.
We may face a lot of trying times in this life - in this industry - but adversity can be one hell of a teacher, can’t it? It is the key catalyst to finding our perseverance — our inner grit. Once you learn to flip that switch, it’s hard to turn off. When you stay ready, you realize there’s not a lot the world can throw at you anymore and have you caught off-guard. Flip that switch, and not even an injury that threatens to disrupt your entire family normalcy for the next 6 months can beat you. If there’s one thing I know to be true about the women of the WAG community, they flipped that switch a long time ago.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are hard pressed, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
Keep looking up.