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By Tom Gibson, IL Saints Softball Coach

“Why Getting Hurt on a Crusade is AWESOME!”
For those of you who don’t know, I tore my Achilles tendon a few months ago on our Crusade to New Mexico. I am making some progress in my recovery but one thing that is often overlooked is all of the great stuff that happens when you get hurt while on a trip! Here are three perks to being an injured member of the Saints Prison Ministry:
Benefit #1- No one can blame you when the team isn’t winning
When playing softball, it is a terrible feeling when you make an error on a play that should have ended the inning. That feeling gets worse when the opposing team continues to pile up runs while your team is desperately trying to find that third out. That feeling is even more terrible when the coach is staring you down from across the field because this bad inning is all your fault. If you are injured, and on the bench, you can relax because this is no longer your problem! While the team was out there trying to get that third out, I got to use that time on the bench to stare off into space, get caught up on thank you notes, and do my favorite crossword puzzle. It is also a good reminder to the team that softball is a team sport, and no one can play that bad all by themselves…
Benefit #2- All of the comparisons to Aaron Rodgers
NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers and I have more in common than phenomenal facial hair and our popularity in the Midwest. Approximately three weeks before I got hurt, Rodgers also tore his Achilles. By the time I got back from the emergency room, our Saints team was already making Aaron Rodgers comparisons. Any time that he was seen on television playing catch on the sidelines while on crutches, I got a text from my teammates wondering when I would be playing catch. Any time that Joe Buck brings up Rodgers’ speedy recovery on a Monday Night Football game, I get a text from my teammates wondering if I’m up and walking around yet. While Rodgers is likely to hit the field before I do, it was fun to share his injury and recovery from a distance. Now if I can just figure out a way to share in his $75 million contract!
Benefit #3- Navigating logistics
Hopping around on one foot with crutches does tend to foul up the normal day-to-day routine in general, but it seems compounded when on a trip. Getting in and out of vehicles and ordering food proved to be challenging when I was first injured. Of course, when on a Saints Crusade, I had people that offered to do that for me! Need help getting back into the van…get a teammate! Need a drink refill…get a teammate! Need help going through airport security…get a teammate!
*Please note for future applications, the sympathy of your teammates has a limit and exceeding that limit usually results in being left in the middle of a parking lot in the rain or having to crutch between terminals at an airport by yourself!
While I’m looking forward to getting back on the field, being injured has tons of advantages too. If I had known all this earlier, I would have torn this thing years ago!

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