This I Believe

Jenna - Wheaton, Illinois
Entered on December 14, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks

This I Believe: Embracing the Injury

There is a fine line between soreness and pain. Soreness is what you feel after a good workout that makes you stiff the next day. Pain is what a number of people ignore until it’s too late. After cross-training through the streets of Wheaton one afternoon, I came home with throbbing pain in my right shin. Being a tenacious athlete my entire life, I strongly disagree with taking a break, a day off to recover. I struggled through running the next couple weeks. A sharp twang of pain shot from the base of my foot through my shin with every step I took. I fought through it and decided to try and suppress the pain by trying a little harder. Sprinting through my yard and onto my front step at the end of a run, tears I had been holding back for fourteen long days immediately streamed down my face. The pain was so unbearable.

When it comes to the doctor, I always prepare for the worst. I hate how my mind flashes through scenario after scenario; they consume my every thought, and I’m convinced I’ll never be able to play softball again. Along with being stubborn and impatient, I refused to admit I had an injury. After being told I had to stay off my feet and go to physical therapy for the next two months, I seriously almost lost it.

Through the recovery process, I discovered that there are positives and negatives to an injury. Obviously, the negatives are being forced to sit out of practice, training, and everything that I love. The first few weeks of physical therapy, I had an awful attitude and felt like I was making zero progress. I remember one day, my physical therapist began asking me questions about college and what I wanted to be when I was older. Being a junior and a procrastinator, I never gave it much thought. The only thing I’d set in my mind was playing college ball. But then it hit me, what happens if I can’t? What am I going to do if my leg holds me back from continuing on? I soon became extremely interested in the exercises I was doing, and how each helped me to recover. Soon, therapy became something I looked forward to going to. I realized that having a positive attitude totally turned everything around. Through my recovery, I realized what I wanted to do when I was older. I wanted to help athletes like myself. I wanted to be the one to help them recover and strengthen them up again so they can continue their sports careers.

Now I understand that timing is everything. I believe that I would have never figured out this new passion of mine if I never got hurt. I believe that training others is what I want to do when I am older. I believe that one positive can be found in every negative situation. I believe in embracing the injury.