It was about nine years ago the first time my world got turned upside down. It was a time when I no longer knew what I could do with my life because my dreams had just been shattered, along with my left foot and ankle that was propped up in a sling on the bed in front of me. I was in despair, and I was taking my pain out on my loved ones around me. By landing wrong on a four inch balance beam, I cost myself the future that looked so bright to my family and my coaches. I would no longer be able to compete in gymnastics which had been my entire life up until this point.
To me, I thought my life was over. After the injury I did nothing. I sat in bed and cried while my parents and coaches looked on. I refused to do anything and was short and hostile with my family. I needed a wake up call to point out the fact that I am still here and I just have to take what life gives me, no matter how crappy. It was almost two months after the injury when I received this wakeup call. It was from a nurse at my doctor’s office that had known me most of my life from my visits to the office.
“There is nothing that God will give you that you can’t handle or make your life better from,” Nurse Blanche said to me when we were alone in the office for a moment. She proceeded to tell me that I need to take this painful curve ball that I’ve been thrown and put it into my other passions in life—being able to be there for others. That car ride home from the doctor’s office was the first time my mom and I didn’t have an argument. It was between the long journey of healing from the shattered pieces of my leg and the shattered pieces of my heart that I found my life’s passion. I want to turn the pain I experience, both internal and external, into helping others. If it had not been for the not-so-good experiences in my life, I doubt I’d be the person that I am today. Pain has truly helped me grow, and for that, I am grateful for everything that I have endured because it has made me into a stronger person that wants to help heal other people’s pain.
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