Joy's Journal Week 4

Professional soccer player and mom Joy Fawcett of the San Diego Spirit wants to inspire other women to enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle! Each week, Joy will reveal her personal challenges and triumphs related to her comeback, as well as offer tips women can use to reach their active goals.
Joy Fawcett

Week four -- Pushing to the limit
Last week, the team doctors gave me clearance so I could travel and suit up for the weekend road games. In my drive to regain my competitive conditioning, I've been physically pushing myself to the limit. On my last drill before leaving for the road trip, I rolled my left ankle. It was hard to take at first and emotionally was a big setback, but I immediately started therapy with the Spirit trainer and doctors. In addition, I had my at-home trainers, Katey and Carli, reminding me to ice my ankle.

With my foot in a bucket of ice, Walt and I began the last minute planning for the kids. Usually Katey and Carli come with me on road trips, but because of the short notice we couldn't make the travel arrangements this time. They were disappointed, but knew that they could still watch Mommy on television. So, everything worked out and I was on the road thanks to Walt taking off a couple afternoons and my family and friends stepping in for the rest of the time.

I left for Philadelphia Wednesday night with Madilyn and the nanny in tow. Since the whole family is usually with me, it was tough without them. But, it wasn't just hard for me; In fact, I think it was difficult on my teammates who rely on Katey and Carli to spice up the road trips. You can just imagine how much quieter the plane trip was!

Traveling is always hard, especially when you have to leave your family at home. It helps me to call home every night and talk to Walt and the girls. I let them know that I miss them and try keep up with what's going on in their little lives each day! It's important for me to be in touch with my family; it helps maintain a sense of balance in my life, especially since road trips are intense and involve long hours. If you have to travel for work and aren't able to bring your family with you, make sure you make time to call home and chat. It's amazing how much can go on when you're not around, but calling and letting your family know that you are mentally there, if not in person, helps you stay involved.

Another injury
While Walt was busy organizing a family get-together for the games from home, my plan to play in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, fell through. During our practice in Philly, I sprained my other ankle? and into a bucket of ice went both feet. It's more painful than it sounds. Not just the bucket of ice, but the realization that my hope to play in the first game of the road trip was crushed in just one drill made it upsetting.

Setbacks happen. After my second visit to the trainers, my main focus was getting up to par for the Carolina game on Sunday. Although I was sitting there with two sprained ankles, I thought about the obstacles I had already overcome. If I could make a comeback to the game only six weeks after giving birth, I wasn't about to let two sprained ankles stop me in Carolina. I rested the next day and did as much training as I could without putting pressure on my ankles.

An active lifestyle is important to maintain at all times. So, whether it's a sprained ankle, a pregnant tummy or just a busy week with the kids, finding time to fit in exercise will always pay off in the long run.

Sunday's game was my payoff. My determination to come back strong and healthy showed when Coach Carlos put me in when the team was one point behind and the pressure was on. Those 30 minutes of playing time were crucial and although my shot on goal bounced off the crossbar, I felt like I was back. I may not have had a storybook ending (this time), but I was able to get back on the field and do my job -- play soccer. (See Joy's workout for this week here.)

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