Rarely do I actually think of why I end up with the books I adopt. Some have covers that intrigue me. (I have been successful with that technique and also have had very disastrous outcomes.) Or I will read the back to see if the summary will move me. Sometime I will open the book and read a random passage. If I like the writing style or the excerpt I read, I will make the purchase. A drive-by of my previously trusty authors is always a must.
I also really appreciate a gifted read. Knowing that my friend probably deems this work something that will reach me in some way.
Last year, I got the same book from two people. Maybe that should have been a wake up call to begin reading asap. But with the upcoming Olympics, training and traveling, I never got to it/them. One got packed away in my boxes, heading to storage, during the post-Olympic move. The other, tossed in a bag that ended up piled in the corner of the guest room at my parents house, where I stayed at the beginning of the year.
It wasn't until I was heading to Greece to play that I found it and thought maybe I should include it in my travel bag. It was called The Traveler's Gift. Fitting, no?!
I had been going through this wrestling match in my head before deciding to play in Greece. The time off had given me a chance to analyse the way I felt about playing. Was I doing it because I loved it? Or just because I have been doing it for the last 9 years? Was there something else I wanted to pursue? Deciding to play in Greece I felt gave me this new opportunity to play in a different atmosphere. New country. New teammates. Different goal. Preparing to go over there, I was training a lot on my own. Swimming, lifting, spinning. Not exciting, but do-able. When I got a chance to play "pick-up" polo with men's club and high school teams.....I would leave giddy. Unable to wipe the smile off my face. At least I knew the polo was still the fun part. That was a step in the right direction.
One night in Greece, before we played for the Cup, I was reading late at night. I came across this passage:
"Success requires the emotional balance of a committed heart. When confronted with a challenge, the committed heart will search for a solution."
It was the first time since college, which was a long time ago, that I found a pen and underlined that section. For days I thought about that. And I committed. Playing water polo was what I wanted to do. It makes me happy. And I will see it through for as long as possible.
And this week I found out the path will have a bit of a detour. I slipped on the wall this summer during a swim set. Torquing my knee a bit. I had hoped a bit of rest would eventually help the pain, swelling, and popping to go away. No such luck. An MRI confirmed that I had tears in the back of my knee cap. So some minor arthroscopic surgery will clean it up and I will be back at it again!