Support Through the Hardships

Hayden - Wellesley, Massachusetts
Entered on March 8, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, setbacks

Support Through Hardships

In sixth grade I stress-fractured my back in gymnastics, as well as in seventh and ninth grade. My coach had forcefully pushed me into continuously trying to stick my back-walkover on the balance beam. At first everything was fine, but within a month of only sticking a couple and twisting out of all the rest, my body was beginning to resist bending backwards. A pain was growing in my back that grew worse each practice when encountering beam. Soon, I began asking to sit out to rest my back and my performance on other events was beginning to drop. Finally, when I could barely achieve a straight jump, my parents took me to the doctor.

About a month later, I ended up in a plastic back brace that stopped me from bending in any direction. I could no longer participate in gym or any sports activities for at least four months. I began to rely on my friends and family to get me through this bump in the road, to distract me from the pain I was feeling in my back, as well as from not being able to play sports.

While sitting at home in my spare time instead of at sports practices, I began to think and appreciate things in my life more; the two most important matters being my friends and my family. I believe that friends and family are what get me through the hardships in life. My friends would find the littlest ways to brighten up my day such as having them all make me a “get better soon” card. Even just having a friend to walk with me to the nurse’s office made me smile and feel a bit better.

My family was the key to getting better. Every day when I came home from school, my mom would be there and ask if she could help in any way. I know that she would have done anything, however just having her offer was enough. My dad would also leave me messages on my phone or call me just to say that he was proud of me and that he loved me. My two sisters would come home from school with things that they had made in art class and give them to me along with a hug. By knowing that my family was there and supported me made everything more bearable.

Without the support of my friends and family being there for me, I think that overcoming the pain and healing my back would have been a thousand times more difficult.