This I Believe

Lauren - West Lafayette, Indiana
Entered on January 24, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: community, sports
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Crack, Rip, Scream I had just torn my ACL and anterior meniscus. I have spent my entire life playing soccer, and in the conference championship game of my senior year of varsity soccer I did what is every soccer player’s worse nightmare. I expended thirteen years of my life playing that sport all year around. Attending soccer tournaments, playing five games a week, and giving up a part of my life for a, “team effort,” and for what? At the moment I tore my ACL, something went through my head that had never been there before: “Why am I doing this?”

Then I remembered as I came back to life, and looked up after screaming, they all were standing there. My teammates, my girls, my sisters for seven months of the year, all right there for me, and all depending on me.

I believe in “team;” I realized the moment I tore my ACL that I had two choices. I could give up on life, and become increasingly depressed because I, the two-year varsity soccer captain and four-year varsity soccer letterman, tore my ACL in the most important season of my life. Or I could be there for my team throughout the remainder of the season. I knew that I needed to be there for those who had always been there for me.

It came time for sectionals, and we were up against our conference rival South Dearborn. The girls told me before the game that they would win this one for me. For the first time in four years we were predicted to lose that game. It came down to a double overtime period, and I told a freshman midfielder who I hadn’t especially gotten along with throughout the season, to score one for me.

In the last two minutes of the game, Allie Reiners came up from behind and finished a drive for the winning goal. At that moment, South Dearborn’s coach looked at me and I threw my crutches down (in his direction), and hobbled onto the field.

Allie came right to me and said, “That one was for you Cline.” I don’t think I have ever been as happy as I was that day. In respect, the team allowed me to receive the sectional championship trophy, and I held that trophy as high as I could.

This experience taught me the true meaning of “team.” It was funny because I thought I knew what the word “team” meant and what it needed to accomplish. Not until I tore my ACL did I understand the true effect the word had. I was there for my team throughout a rough year, with a fairy tale ending. I didn’t know the effect you could have on people by being there and supporting them. I realized the role I played on the team, and the importance of being apart of it.