For some athletes, cold packs are a necessity

April 18, 2013|Lisa Prejean

After a string of events last week, I think I should take stock in the medical companies that make cold packs.

Last Wednesday my 14-year-old daughter decided to go head-to-head, or should I say foot-to-foot, with the best defender on our boys' soccer team.

What was she thinking? I had no idea, so I asked.

"Did you really think you would get to the ball before him and get it away from him?"

She smiled and flashed me a look that spoke volumes. She at least wanted to try.

By the end of the coed intramural game, her ankle was red and a little swollen. She reached for a cold pack and kept her leg elevated that evening.

The next day, in a girls' varsity soccer game, her shoe strings became tangled in another player's cleats. They collided and fell in slow-motion fashion to the ground.

The cold packs came out again that evening.

By Friday, I was ready for an uneventful sports day. That didn't happen.

With about three minutes left in the girls' soccer game, a player on the other team blocked the ball from their goal, and I watched as the ball flew right into my daughter's face. Her hands instantly flew up to cover the injury.

The play happened on the opposite side of the field, so I couldn't tell exactly where the ball hit her.

I saw her take a step, stagger a bit and go down on her knees. Then she pulled away her blood-covered hands and I knew we were facing another cold pack evening.

Thankfully, her nose wasn't broken.

Later she told me that the impact didn't hurt, but the bloody nose was really gross.

Then she said, "You know, I've never had a bloody nose before," as if it was a badge of honor.

Some kids seem to be born with a competitive nature, and as one coach explained to me, they just can't contain it. That drive to give 110 percent all the time naturally comes out and instinct takes over.

I see it time and again on the court and on the field. One of my friends who has three very athletic children was embarrassed that she was on a first-name basis with the Urgent Care staff. It seemed like she was always taking one of her children in with a sprained this or a broken that.

Dealing with minor injuries is just part of the process of participating in athletics. When athletes give their all in a sport, life lessons are learned. They are learning how important it is to believe in themselves and pursue what they want, even if that causes a few bumps and bruises along the way.

As long as we moms keep a few cold packs stashed here and there, things will be fine.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send e-mail to her at

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