Are we On? (Dave Vilhauer blog)

It’s safe to say that Kevin Durant and I share very little in common.

Oh sure, we both love the game of basketball and have carried on a conversation with Golden State coach Steve Kerr, but outside of that, I’d say we have way more differences than similarities. Durant is tall, wealthy, and is a nationally known figure. Count me out on all three of those for starters.

Yet, the standout player for the Warriors and I became connected in a sad sort of way this past week. While playing in the NBA finals against the Toronto Raptors, Durant was attempting to make a comeback from a calf injury. During that contest, Durant ended up tearing his Achilles tendon.

Durant’s injury occurred about 8:30 or so on June 11, 2019. I tore my Achilles playing tennis at 4 p.m., June 12, 2005 (trust me, when something that significant happens in your life, you tend to remember exact details).

Many professional athletes have suffered the same injury and have returned to elite status (Kobe Bryant comes to mind). I expect Durant to do the same. It is a long road back, but motivation and determination play a key role in the process, whether you are a professional athlete or not.

I can still recall a former co-worker saying in a hushed tone, “He’ll never play tennis again,” when I tore my Achilles. I was bound and determined to get back out on the court before he uttered those words, but suffice it to say, even if he did not mean any ill will, hearing that sentence only fueled my desire to prove him and everybody else wrong.

Long story short, I slogged my way through rehab and returned to the court more than a year later and have been playing ever since. It’s hard to say if my skills are the same or not since I was never very good to begin with, but it was sure fun being back in the game.

Since the time I tore my Achilles, I have found out about numerous other individuals who have suffered the same injury, including my current men’s doubles partner. Yes, there are a lot of nice people in the torn Achilles club. It’s a pretty nice group to be a part of, although I must admit the membership fee is pretty costly.

(I will not have a blog the next two weeks. It will return on July 5)