Something I have learned as an athlete is that you have to persevere in order to achieve your dreams and goals. If you want to be great, you can’t be afraid to take chances. These are lesson that I learned in 2007 coming off a knee injury that required surgery. When I was 10 years old I was diagnosed with Osgood Schlatters Disease. Which is a growing pain in your knees. As a sophomore in college the excruciating pain had reoccurred because the fragmented bone was now in my patellar tendon in my left knee.
Coming to terms with the idea that I needed surgery was difficult. I had been active all my life and participated in a number of sports. It was scary to think that all of my future dreams of doing great things athletically could be over after surgery. I felt hopeless and was afraid I would never play volleyball the same way again. Even when I was optimistic about the surgery and thought of all the great things I could still achieve after; part of me was still unsure. I overcame these negative thoughts by becoming determined not to let a small set back (1year) control my volleyball fate. If I was never going to play volleyball again it wasn’t going to be because I didn’t put the effort in to get better, it would be because I physically wasn’t capable.
After having surgery the recovery was very difficult. I battled with thoughts of never being good enough, I at times wondered if all the work I was putting in would be worth it or even pay off. I changed my mentality by remembering my goals and dreams. In my mind those dreams made it worth it. I was willing to do whatever it took to put myself in the position to achieve them. The work was not easy, but I can say today that it was all worth it.
Today I am a professional volleyball player. I am heading into my 4th season overseas. I have an awesome job, I am healthy and I have the opportunity to travel the world. Sometimes, in life and in sports difficult situations are thrown your way and are out of your control. It is up to you that determine how those outcomes affect your life. Sometimes it is when you are at your worst that you find how much strength lies within you that you never before knew was there before.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Professional Volleyball Player
University of Arizona Alumni
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