April 1, 2015 was the first and last time I thought I’d ever have to feel hurt from you. I was wrong.
As I step on to the STA field on April 7, 2016, a little over a year after I had first felt pain from you, it happened again. I was playing center back once again, just minding my own business. All of a sudden, as a forward from Park Hill High School runs into the side of me, you shift to the left side, and all I feel is a pain like the sharpness of a knife slicing through the side of my knee. I go down. Screaming and crying, my whole world stops. It is the same pain. All of the memories flood back into my mind from the previous year.
I do not understand. I have spent years taking care of you, icing you when you are hurt, rehabbing and going to physical therapy. I have done nothing but take good care of you.
Why must you fail me? Why must you cause me so much pain? What did I ever do to you to deserve this?
To my crutches, I thought I would never have to feel the roughness of your gray pads rubbing against my armpits as I try to hobble along with one leg. To that gray, bland doctor’s office, I thought I’d never have to see you again. To that big, white imaging center, I thought I would never have to hear the loudness of your MRI machines for a second time. To that cold, metal bench, I thought I’d never have to sit there and feel powerless again, watching my team play without me.
Dear knees, you will not define me. These injuries will not stop me; you will not deplete my path to success. This will only make me stronger, and I can assure you, I will come back from this. I will not let you bring me down anymore. I will not give up. The scars will be a symbol of my strength, a reminder to keep pushing through. If I did it once, I can do it again.
You have made me realize that although I may feel like I did nothing wrong to deserve it, that life is not perfect. Bad things happen to everyone. How I choose to handle adversity is a true test of my strength and character. This happened to me for a reason, perhaps a blessing in disguise that will further lead me with grace and dignity to my chosen path.