In Under 30 Seconds
Whoever came up with the phrase, “ Things can change in a blink of an eye,” really knew what they were talking about. Up until this past December I never truly understood the challenges with withstanding an injury. I have always been very cautious throughout my life, making sure to take care of my body, because I know that we only get one, so we need to take care of it. One of my most ambitious decisions eventually came back to bite me in the butt, or rather my ankle. Who would have known that my junior year of high school would be turned upside down in a matter of thirty seconds- thirty seconds that I would never forget.
Back-tracking to sign up day of my freshman year of high school. On that day I made the reckless, yet ambitious decision to sign up for my school’s wrestling team. Even though I had never once wrestled in my life, I was determined to give it a try. My dream to one day be as good as a fighter on UFC influenced my desire to explore the territories of mixed martial arts. In seventh grade I had done a year of boxing, and since then I have been drawn to the world of fitness and self improvement. Now fast forward to November 2015, the start of my junior year of wrestling. I was ecstatic to begin my third year of high school, what I thought would be a more successful year of wrestling, and to begin experiencing the life of an upperclassman. I had decided to focus on strengthening and toning my body in an effort to improve my overall self. Throughout the first month of the wrestling season, I felt very confident. We had been training mornings and evenings for so long, and now it was time for the first tournament of the season. Eventually I would come to the realization that it would be my last.
I Should Have Listened
The week of the tournament I was cursed with a dreadful cold. I had been sick all week leading up to the tournament, and it had only brought down my hopes for a successful start to my season. That Friday night, I had decided to go on a date with a girl, who would later become one of my greatest supporters in life and future girlfriend now for over 6 months. When I got home, I was completely exhausted from my cold. My mother told me that I should tell my coach that I was sick and wouldn't be able to make it. I brushed off my mother’s advice and proceeded to attend the tournament that next morning. Looking back at it now, I wonder what my life would have been like if I had listened. Now it was early Saturday morning. I was at Blue Valley North High School around 6:50 a.m. in order to help organize the rest of the team, showing leadership now being an upperclassman and all. Things seemed bright and like they could swing in our favor, especially when I was blessed with a first round bye. Round 2 was a completely different story. I went over to the auxiliary gym to warm up for my upcoming match. I was nervous however, I still felt confident. Honestly, I just wanted to get it all over with. After some time, my name was called, and before I knew it, I was on the mat shaking my opponent's hand.
A Moment I Will Never Forget
A screech flew from the whistle’s mouth and brought the match to life. We wrestled hard for what seemed like an eternity, while I was trying to focus on my coach’s words of encouragement. I looked at the clock. Only twenty seconds had gone by. I turned back to face my opponent, and in that instant he flung himself towards my legs to try and take me down. Quickly, I attempted to sprawl away. Within a heartbeat, he pushed towards my left and I turned towards my right with the hope to make an escape. Taking my legs with him, I heard the crackling sound of bone breaking. I instantly knew something was wrong. I landed outside of the mat, unable to move. I felt a sensation that I had never felt before. The best way to describe it would be a black flame burning right around my ankle. I looked down and knew that my foot wasn’t supposed to be facing that direction. I yelled at the ref that I couldn’t move, thinking that I had just pulled a muscle or something, but then a sports trainer came to my side and told me that my ankle had been dislocated. Later I came to find out that I had shattered my fibula into five pieces along with that ankle dislocation. They called an ambulance while I laid there waiting, picturing in my head what this would mean for me and my future. In that moment I felt as if I had nothing left, but the encouraging words from one of my teammates’ dad kept me alive. His dad said, “It’s okay. You just have to put your trust in God.” I realized that when you have lost seemingly everything, you can still hold onto your faith and beliefs.
Things Always Happen For A Reason
Months after the incident, through two surgeries and countless visits to physical therapy, I can happily say that I am beginning to see glimpses of what I use to be. I can finally walk and workout like I could before. The road back to becoming my original, healthy self has been long and isn’t quite finished yet. I am expected to make a full recovery within a year of my accident. Throughout the whole process I grew in patience and appreciation for the small things in life. You never really know when all those material things may be taken away from you. Just like they say, things can really change in just a blink of an eye.