Field Hockey Days

Back at Hereford High School in Maryland, back in the day, I played softball and field hockey. I played other sports with friends, but these were my two “letter” sports.

Though softball was the sport I played best from a young age, in field hockey I recall the incredible, heart pounding, pulmonary exploding sprints. I played both defense and offence but mainly defense. I was pretty good, and I was aggressive without being mean…yet with a last name of Greene, I was nicknamed the Mean Greene Machine by my coach; Mean Greene for short.

In one game, I was hit hard in the forehead by an opponent’s stick and, starstruck for a second, I waved everyone off to return to play. That is, until I saw the horrified looks of the players watching the blood suddenly pour profusely into my eyes and down my face. I had to be pulled and bandaged. I was out for the game.

Most games went smoothly. We had a good record. The memories coming back to me most in these days of my cancer journey are the ones where I was sprinting up and down the field, to the point I knew I’d drop. I couldn’t keep going, I thought many times to myself. And then — the ball rushed right up to me in a pass, or alongside me by chance, and I felt the afterburners kick on, connecting with the ball, dribbling or flicking or driving it, following it until it was in play elsewhere. Where the energy, the oxygen came from, I do not know. But it was an incredible feeling.

I’m not feeling incredible at all these days, but when called on to do just one more thing, when my body is crying in pain, when nauseated, when chemo-brained…if it is truly important, I follow it like those hockey balls of old. It simply must be done.

Perhaps I should ignore some balls. I feel I am passing so many to my husband and kids. Sometimes the ball has only my name on it and there is no choice. I think God gives me strength in these instances and I rest later.

In fact, we had a nice weekend at a lake and I’ll close with a photo. Restoration is important for each and every one of us. It looks different to each person, but we must find the code to what works best for us. Prayer helps. I had much down time for prayer and relaxation and I was indeed restored to fight the third round of chemo this week.