There are few jobs that I hate more in life than hauling lumber, especially freshly cut, heavy, wet, tropical lumber. For that reason, I guess today is my lucky day.
For my whole life I have been ashamed of my inability to play team sports. I have tried to compensate for this important gap in my life as a man by being good at other things such as spear throwing, shooting, running, hiking, and other manly outdoor sports, but try as I might, I cannot move past the shame that I feel every time someone is watching a football game and I don’t know what is going on. I have been so ashamed by my lack of knowledge, that I have been unwilling to risk the humiliation involved in trying to actually learn a sport at my advanced age. At least, that was the case until I came to Costa Rica.
For the past month I have been playing soccer regularly with my neighbors. I have gotten better to the point that I am no longer ashamed, and I have even scored a few goals. It is extremely difficult to play in the slippery mud, so I invested in a cheap pair of soccer cleats, which improved my playing tremendously. There is only one catch. The cleats have moved me out of the world of slipping and falling every 5 minutes, into the world of too much traction and sprained ankles.
Yesterday, I was trying to steal the ball from a particularly agile opponent named Daniel, when my foot planted the wrong way, and with a loud “Pop!” I was on the ground, holding my ankle and trying not to cuss. It was a very respectable sprain, one that merited me limping off the field for all of ten minutes, before returning to play stationary defense in front of the goal.
I managed to walk the half mile home that evening, but I woke about 10 times during the night because of the pain, and then this morning I found myself almost unable to walk. Pain killers and working with the joint have helped to improve the situation so that I can now walk around the house and yard (which is good considering that I am here by myself while Juan is with his family), but luckily I am not well enough to haul the lumber that we are cutting for the corral. I guess today really is my lucky day!