Caroline Seger reunites with national team
This Thursday I'll be leaving for England to meet my national team. We'll face England twice, and I expect them to be very good matches. England is a team I rate very highly and these coming games are the sort of challenge Sweden needs to fine tune and fully prepare for our first World Cup game against Columbia on June 28.
I'm excited to see all the girls and train with them again, but I'm especially excited to finally play some international games. This will be the first time I've played with Sweden since last October when we qualified for the World Cup.
The reason that it's been so long is that I had to get surgery on my heel last year. My heel bone had actually started to grow into my Achilles, and I had been struggling with the pain for two years without being able to do anything about it. But with the WPS having a five-month offseason, I finally had time to take care of it.
Having surgery and being out for six months was one of the toughest challenges that I've ever gone through. First of all, I'm not used to being injured and. Second, not being on a team was so hard. Just listen to the words: Team sports. You're not supposed to be by yourself. Waking up and pushing myself every day to go to PT and do the same boring exercises without really feeling that I had worked out was so frustrating. I tried to motivate myself and just change it up a little every once in awhile, but even then it sucked.
Some days were better than others. I had friends and family that helped me through the days when I couldn't stand the elliptical machine or when I just wanted to crawl into a hole and die. I'm not going to lie, there were times when I doubted if I was going to get any better or if my heel would get back to normal. I know this probably sounds crazy and dramatic, but imagine never being able to do what you love most again. It's hard not to freak out a little.
During that time, I also lived with my parents. I know I drove them crazy when all of our conversations were about my heel. Thank GOD I'm fortunate to have parents who bear with me no matter what.
I also went to two camps with the national team without being able to practice or play. I felt more like a staff member than a player. I didn't feel a part of it when I didn't play. I watched my national team play and I wanted to be out there so badly. Several times I was tested to the limit of what you can handle mentally. I did the best I could to stay mentally strong, and now that it's behind me, I realize it has made me so much tougher and better.
Being injured gave me a better understanding of what people go through when they're hurt or even in the stands or on the bench for that matter. I'm not saying that I've ever treated people differently, but now I can relate to it and know what they're talking about.
I can't wait to head off to England, and it amazes me how fast life changes. I was injured most of the year, stuck questioning myself and seeing other people doubt whether I'd be ready or good enough to make it back, wondering if I'd really be able to do this. Now, here I am, preparing myself for the biggest event in women's soccer. Germany 2011!
That just makes me SMILE.