My life as an athlete began in first grade when I first tried out for gymnastics. I fell in love with the sport instantly and had a fun time. Imet some really good friends of mine there. I liked being able to do tricks other people couldn’t, and I always had a smile on my face during practice. Flash forward two years later to the end of 3rd grade, I stopped going to practice for a few weeks and i realized during that time that i didn’t want to do gymnastics anymore. I told my mom and we took me out. Right after that my mom was telling me about how she played volleyball, and I decided to give it a try. So the summer going into 4th grade I played volleyball for the first time and my coach realized I was good for barely starting. We ended up winning the“championship” and I just knew this is what I want to do in my future. I played for 3 years every summer until 6th grade when I played on my first school team. I was one of two 6th graders on the 7th grade team.That was one of the proudest moments I’ve had. That same year I tried out for my first club team and made it. Our team had its ups and downs, but we got through them. Our last tournament we played together was May 12, 2019. Which was in San Francisco and two days long, we played our hardest. We finished off the season in the gold brackett. Sadly on the last day of the tournament I ended up injuring my knee, but I didn’t realize it until a couple weeks later when I was practicing for a different club I had joined for the summer. I kept complaining to my mom about my knee bothering me but nothing would help, so she finally took me to a doctor. He told me that I most likely had osgood-schlatter disease and that I had to take 6 months off and it was common for kids my age who did sports to have it. He said depending on how serious it was I could possibly not play again, I cried as soon as we left. I stopped playing until august which means I didn’t listen and i played for my school team again. I was the only 7th grader on the 8th grade team and this time I took precautions while playing and after practice. In march of 2020 my mom told me she was going to take me to the doctor that they go to, because it hadn’t gotten better but worse. A couple days later I went to the other doctor and this time she said I should get an x-ray. That same day I got an x-ray. I went back a week later and she said nothing was broken and that I should try physical therapy for a month. So on march 17th 2020 I started my first day of physical therapy. I did that for a month in hopes it would work but nothing changed. So I went back to the doctor and she said this time you need to get an mri. I got my MRI and it came back like a week later and she told my mom what it said because my mom is a nurse so she knew the medical terms. I didn’t know what happened yet until a couple days later when I found the papers on the kitchen table and asked if this is what happened. On the paper it said I had two tears in my meniscus. When an athlete hears they have a tear in a muscle that means the end of the world for them. That is when my world changed, this was the first year in five years I didn’t get to play. I thought nothing would help and that I guess sports wasn’t for me. But after finding out what happened I went back to the doctor and she said another month of physical therapy, but somewhere else. So I did another month. Again it didn’t help, so guess where I went, to another doctor. This time I went to a specialist, and here is the part I wasn’t ready for. He said that from his eyes i didn’t have a torn meniscus, trust me i was happy don’t get me wrong but i was still in pain and i didnt know why. I won’t go into detail cause to some people it can be really not so pleasant to hear. Before my surgery in July. I probably went to the doctor more than 10 times and had over 16 physical therapy appointments. After my surgery, the first thing I asked the nurse that was with me “can I play again” after she said yes I broke down in tears I was so happy. I continued physical therapy until september. I still was scared to run or jump so it wasn’t till November when i ran for the first time without saying my knee hurts. I am still recovering but at least I get to practice moving instead of sitting on my bed not being able to go anywhere. I learned my lesson to not take a break when the doctor tells you to take a break.
Written by Lauren