I met my first love in third grade. I know I was young and vulnerable, but it was pretty much love at first sight. We spent day after day together, enjoying life in my drive way. He went by the name of Basketball.
Our break-up was one of the hardest things I ever had to go through. It was sophomore year, nearly eight years later and only the second game into the season. We were getting along great, in fact I had been playing quite well. I had about twelve points on the board to start the 4th quarter and I was developing into a great player. All conference was my dream. We didn’t talk about it, he didn’t give me the chance to tell him how much I needed him, he just dumped me right there in front of everyone. I was just bending over for a loose ball when my knee gave out. And there he went, along with my whole un-played season.
The next six months without him were heart wrenching. A torn ACL doesn’t heal over night. I watched practice every day until the season was at end. I wasn’t able to join in or even help with the drills. But every time someone complained about running or practice I just wanted to slap them. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. My team mates told me I was lucky. But they weren’t the one sitting on the side line, they didn’t have to watch their starting position be given away or feel forgotten.
They weren’t the one crutching behind on the way to lunch as everyone else quickly ran to there car to hide from the cold. They didn’t have to crutch to class alone, hear random “ha, gimp” comments or even when off of crutches they didn’t have to limp down the stairs for three months with dirty glances from impatient students rushing to class.
In order to shower I had to put a chair, a laundry basket with a pillow in a garbage bag, saran wrap my leg, and then spend 10 minutes trying to get into the shower. This was a pretty elaborate deal for just a shower.
Basketball and I are once again reunited, but from this whole experience I have learned to cherish every moment. The distance that my injury has caused only brought us closer. Not everyone stays with their first love. I believe if the commitment is there you can accomplish anything.
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