Everyone has those family quotes and inside jokes. Well in my family we say, “Walk it off.” I can not count the amount of times I have heard this. Whether it was being screamed at me from the side lines of a soccer field, or when I stubbed my toe at the house, this could always be heard. It originated when
I was young and playing my favorite sport, soccer. My dad would manically scream, “WALK IT OFF!” any time that I took a hit, and let me tell you, I took some hits. My dad was one of those dads who got maybe a little too excited when I was playing. Let’s put it this way, I think my dad got as many yellow cards as I did, which was not a small number. Now I don’t want you to think that my dad was some crazy person. He was only crazy passionate because he knew how much I loved the sport and if I wasn’t playing to my full potential he was not afraid to voice his opinion. I was not verbally abused or anything like that but Dad definitely lit a fire under my butt each game. During the games, if I ever got knocked down or ran over, which was often because I was an agressive player, Dad would always yell from the sidelines, “WALK IT OFF!”. Dad never let me play hurt or take a break because I got knocked down and it made me tough, and for that I am thankful. “Walk it Off” became something of a mantra in our house. We used it for everything. You stubbed your toe, “Walk it Off”, you have a headache, “Walk it Off”, you have allergies, “Walk it Off”. Yeah, we said it a lot. It became our little joke.
When I had surgery my family would pick fun and say, “Walk it Off” knowing that I couldn’t walk. When I was on crutches they would say, “Walk it Off”. When I was laying in bed, leg propped up with countless pillows and an ice machine strapped to my leg, they would say, (yea you guessed it), “WALK IT OFF.” No, they didn’t mean any harm, they were just being goofballs but little did they know these three short words became so important. I would tell myself that I could walk it off. That whatever I was dealing with would soon pass. There are very few times I literally walked it off but figuratively I was able to accomplish so much because my family did not allow me to lay on the ground and cry about the small things. My parents pushed me to overcome everything from a shove on the soccer field to surviving my last surgery to navigating these last few years in college. No matter what I was doing or going through I was never allowed to stop and pity myself, I was pushed to achieve. I was told to “Walk if Off.” This has become my mantra, my way of life. I walk it off. I walk off the pain, and the anxiety of having this thing that tries to control my life. I don’t let it. I “WALK IT OFF”.
Thanks Dad for being the borderline psychotic, super fan. Without those days where you made me get up and keep moving, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
If you have ever had to “Walk it Off” tell me about it in the comments.