I've seen a lot of people unhappy with Brasil and their football team the past few days. There is a piece of me that deals with that unhappiness and disappointment of events in a way that allows me to deal with things.
If you've met me in person, played football with me or spoken to me about sports then I've probably at some point mentioned Brasil. I'll be travelling over to Brasil later this year and I'm sure that I'll love it. I have an incredible amounts of friends and people close to me there, it'll be good to finally spend time learning about the country and life in it.
Both Brasil as a country and the friendly nature of Brazilians has been a part of my admiration since I was a kid and this was mainly influenced by one person, an idol of mine: Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima.
I had a childhood that wasn't like most kids. I spent most of it in a wheelchair, unable to walk and dealing with the effects of Legg–Calvé–Perthes Disease which prevented me from walking normal until I was about 12 years old. When I started high school at 11, I was on crutches and then a walking stick. I missed out on the whole childhood adventure of climbing trees, playing football and doing the usual things that children do.
For my life and career, this served me well. I learned to program basic at this time and started to learn a lot about computing which has done me well considering that I'm now a programmer as a professional.
Football seemed to touch something deep inside my soul. As soon as I was able to walk, then run - I began to play football. This is now one of the most important parts of my life, I have been told that I will be unable to walk by doctors three times in my life so far. I still prove them wrong and will continue to do so, until I actually can't. I have no idea if I'll be walking by the time I am 40, 50, 60 or older. I hope that it will be longer, of course. I have no control over that though, it all depends on how well my hip manages to deal with life. My doctor would prefer me to have a hip replacement now, to which I object completely. I prefer to deal with the pain of having my 'real' hip and being able to play the sport that has given me so much.
As a human, I think I've overcome quite a lot to get to where I am now. The inspiration for that and the never giving up came from years of watching and learning about Ronaldo. This is a professional sports player that has had career threatening injuries more times than people care to remember. There is an image that sticks into my mind of Ronaldo while he was playing for Inter Milan on 21 November 1999 against Lecce felt his knee buckle, he was out for a long period of time.
I sat watching the moment I'd waited for, on the 12th April 2000 Ronaldo was named a substitute for the game against Lazio in the Copa Italia final. Ronaldo played seven minutes in total. He took the ball on the edge of the D and collapsed. His knee had given way again. There is a now famous photo of Ronaldo laying on the pitch in anguish.
This image has stayed with me for life. I've had serious knee injuries myself and serious ankle injuries too. I never gave up hope that I would play again and always believe that I would be able to recover from them. In Ronaldo's case, he not only came back from these awful injuries, he resumed his career after them. The attitude and commitment to do that is amazing to me and part of the reason why he has remained my idol throughout life.
If you ever wondered how severe Ronaldo's knee injuries have been, look at the photo below.
I read an interesting post a few days ago, which talks about what Ronaldo could have been which I'd recommend reading.
Always remember, that no matter how bad things may be at present, they can always get better.
I've seen a lot of people unhappy with Brasil and their football team the past few days. There is a piece of me that deals with that unhappiness and disappointment of events in a way that allows me to deal with things. If you've met me in person, played football…