After suffering a torn ACL last season, Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry used poetry to get through the struggle of missing an entire season.
“I really leaned on my poetry and my writing throughout the whole process,” he said. “You do a lot of sitting up by yourself … a lot of looking at the ceiling. That’s what I did in my spare time between playing video games … I wanted to get my thoughts on paper.”
Something as simple as the moon helped Berry.
That’s how he discovered the beauty of the moon. While injured, Berry, who played every defensive snap as a rookie during his Pro Bowl season of 2010, felt lost and in the dark when not part of a team. He wondered when the misery was going to end, when he saw a full moon,” wrote Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star.
“Even as a kid, the full moon always intrigued me,” he said. “I looked up at the full moon, contemplated it and wondered if it sees me, and knowing what I’m going through and knowing all my struggles.”
“I went through so many different stages …” he said of his rehab process. “I wrote the poem about the moon on one of my days when I was like, ‘Damn, when is it going to stop?’ I happened to look up at the moon, and it was a full moon in a time of darkness.
“In times of darkness, when things are going wrong, just like when night falls and you can’t see your way, the full moon always has light to guide your way. The moon borrows light from the sun. Everybody knows the sun is going to shine, right? But the moon is so special, it takes some of the light from the sun and gives it to people who can’t see in the dark.”
Whenever an athlete suffers an injury as severe and traumatic as a torn ACL, the recovery process is so rigorous that it can be discouraging and depressing. He clearly used the poetry to get him through the hardest times.
I hope Berry comes back stronger than ever this season.