It happened about a month ago. Your knee gave out at practice as you were going up for a layup.
It was basketball season. Basketball was your favorite sport. You were even elected as a captain for the Varsity team as a Junior because of your work ethic and amazing leadership skills.
You couldn't walk. Mom and Dad had to come pick you up from practice and take you to the emergency room. You didn't know what was wrong, but you were scared.
The doctor's report was to wait, wait for a week and see if it feels better. So we waited. You were still in so much pain. Your entire leg was swollen and you surely couldn't walk on it. You were scared and depressed, you wanted to play so bad, but you physically couldn't.
After the first week went by, the pain did not cease. You went to the orthopedic doctor who scheduled an MRI for your knee later that week. More waiting with still no definite answers.
Finally, you went in for your MRI. You were nervous because you don't like close spaces but you were happy to find out your whole body did not go into the machine. After the pictures were taken of your knee, you were once again sent home to wait.
Later that week you went in to find out your results, to find your fate for your high school sports career. You weren't expecting anything great. You still couldn't fully straighten your knee and it had been over 3 weeks. The doctor's diagnosis, surgery. You needed to have surgery because you had torn your ACL, an athlete's worst nightmare.
You were devasted, just like any athlete would be, but you weren't going to let it stop you, you aren't going to let it get the best of you.
You want to know why?
Because you are an athlete.
You are strong. You are hard working. You are determined. You are capable.
The doctor told you it would be a year recovery time, but I know it won't take you that long. Yes, you won't be able to finish out the season, but you are still there, at every practice and every game, being the best captain and teammate you can be, even if it is from the sidelines.
For every athlete struggling with career halting injuries, don't give up. Athletes don't give up, they keep pushing even when it hurts, even when it gets hard, and even when they don't want to anymore, athletes keep pushing.
Whatever sport it may be, whether it's basketball, soccer, football, volleyball, swimming, or track and field, your injury doesn't define you and your career, it's how hard you work to get back to where you were that defines you.
It's not about the injury, it's the lessons learned along the way.