When you wake up in the morning you have no idea what to expect in the day. You start of thinking of all the things you need to get accomplished, what period you’re going to dread the most, or what’s on the school menu for lunch, but in reality you have no idea what is in store for you.
On the morning of my injury I was so caught up in my routine I didn’t take the time to enjoy the small things. I fumbled into the bathroom rushing to get myself together, raced to school and found myself doing the same thing as always.
I woke up that day doing something I always do; living my day like it was nothing special, just taking it for granted. That night, after my leg was in a wrapped in a splint and propped up on pillows I kept thinking, “Man, you just never know what can happen.” I tore my Achilles’ tendon clean across and just like that, the goals I set for my senior year in high school were over.
All of the could’ve, would’ve, should’ves could have been a reality if I would have seized the day, everyday like I should have.
Sometimes we need to step out of the norm and do something new. Even if it is something as simple as walking a different way to class or sitting at a different table at lunch can make a difference. Something so simple can change the rest of your day or week, even year – you just never know.
I had surgery and was stuck with crutches for three months, and later forced to wear a boot. Physical therapy sucked. Doing simple things that I never use to think about before were now difficult tasks that seemed almost impossible to do. Strength training, balancing and stretching, were painful but necessary.
You would think that I would have been depressed, and I guess in some ways I was – especially during games when I was on the bench feeling hopeless. But there is no use in crying over spilled milk, I stayed determined.
Mentally I was terrified. I remembered the pain I felt in my lower calf before my foot touched the baseline. I could still see myself falling on the court and hear the sound my tendon made when it snapped. The pain, the inability to walk, it was awful. Even walking up and down the stairs were a challenge. What if my surgery failed and I re-injured my leg all over again? I was timid about playing again because what if the other Achilles’ tears? All these what-ifs were there, but I couldn’t live in fear.
Although I know this wasn’t the best decision to make physically, I just had to do it. I couldn’t keep thinking of every step so fragilely. So, I played in our last game.
My feet weren’t as quick and my leg muscles still weren’t where they needed to be, but I had to play. My parents could barely watch the game once I walked on the floor, but I didn’t do it for them. I did it for me.
I had to seize my moment and conquer my dream by playing in my last organized basketball game. If it wasn’t for the struggles, literal pain, and the determination, I don’t believe I would have been strong enough to play one last time.
Life lessons come out of everything. Remember to seize the day, accept pain as strength and never quit on yourself. There will always be a journey so you might as well take it for a ride!