By Jay D. Prince
It’s a given: we never really appreciate something until it’s gone. For squash players, that experience usually comes when we are injured. For just the second time in my thirty years of playing, I’m on the shelf; this time due to back surgery that I managed to outrun for the last ten years.
Fortunately, my lumbar fusion appears to have gone as planned. Now, it’s just months of letting time go by and doing whatever I can to ensure success via physical therapy and eating right.
While the recovery period can be a long, arduous and lonely experience, it never ceases to amaze me how cool it is to be part of a community of people who refuse to leave you to your own devices. In just the first month since my surgery, I’ve heard from people all over the world, and a number of my local squash friends who have gone out of their way to spend time with me and bring meals to my home.
Going into my procedure, I really wasn’t too concerned about the outcome. I was, however, very concerned that I would never be able to play squash again; or at least nowhere near the level I’m accustomed to. I was reassured, however, by no fewer than five different friends at the Nationals in March that I will return.
Each of them had experienced one or more fusion surgeries, and each of them gave me invaluable tips that have been useful in my recovery.
Squash is an awesome sport, but it’s made even more so by the people who play. That, in the end, is what I miss most and am driven to return to over the next year.