“It’s not broken,” were the first words out of the physician’s mouth as she came in with my x-ray results. This encouraging statement was followed by an explanation that I had badly sprained my ankle and would need to wear an air cast for a week or two, because I just can’t catch a break when it comes to injuries, can I?

At soccer practice I usually love drills that pit us against each other one on one. I have a knack for nutmegging people—playing the ball between opponents’ feet to get past them—and enough explosive power to beat them in a sprint on the other side. One moment I was dribbling the ball towards my teammate, patiently reeling them in, waiting for them to try to steal the ball. Then I was mid-move, feinting to one side and darting to the other, when my ankle gave out spectacularly and I went down in a heap. I spent about five seconds trying to get up again, caught up in the adrenaline of the moment, before I realized it just wasn’t happening.

No amount of ice or ibuprofen could have stopped that ankle from swelling like it did. For the past few days I’ve been hobbling around feeling like I have nothing but a massive, club-like bruise at the end of my leg. It seems almost ridiculous that I could have gotten injured again so soon—I just went through months of physical therapy for my hip and hamstring, just got over my nasty cold. Don’t I deserve a few peaceful weeks of simply being able to play at full strength?

In soccer, jokes get thrown around about “ankle-breaking skill,” any kind of move or trick that spins defenders so off balance that they topple to the ground. Somehow I managed to break the wrong ankle. It’s just my luck. ♦