This is a word of encouragement to all of you newbies. Here I am, over a year after my AT rupture, and I am STILL ALIVE. Believe me when I say that I though my life was ending when this first happened. I was 16 years old and playing volleyball meant everything to me. I ruptured my AT in the second week of our 5 month season and had to sit on the sidelines for the entire time. I was literally devastated.
The process of healing took longer than I wanted, but faster than anyone else expected. The injury happened in January and I began playing light beach volleyball again by the very end of May, then I dove into a full high school season of indoor volleyball in September. This included practicing 5 days per week and often tournaments on weekends.
I’m currently nearing the end of the “club” season that I missed out on last year. That’s right, one year later and 2 seasons under my belt. I am completely back to my regular active self and doing everything I used to do. There are occasions when I do get sore in the AT, but it is not often and usually only if I have worked it really hard beyond normal. Icing helps pretty quickly.
My point is that at first, this seemed like it would never end. But I have conquered the task and I encourage all of you to do the same. I followed protocol strictly, pushed ahead where I was able, slowed down when I needed, and never gave up. Most of all, I found it very necessary to keep a positive attitude through the whole process. I don’t know if your case is the same as mine, but I’m sure this injury has some sort of affect on you. I want to encourage you by saying that there is light at the end of the tunnel, even if you can’t see it just yet.
As a young athlete, I learned a TON of lessons during this time. The main thing was that even though I felt like I was going through hell, there is always someone else who would trade places with me in a second if they could. I learned to stay positive, even if I had to fake it sometimes. I also learned that when I am motivated, I can accomplish incredible things. I had a goal: to get back to volleyball before the season was over. I didn’t reach that goal but I shot high, fell short, and still accomplished more than anyone expected of me. One last thing I learned was that I was defined as Jen the volleyball player. However, what I had never considered was that things can be taken away from you in an instant. Now being an athlete is not WHO I am… it’s WHAT I do. It’s a privilege that I’ve been given and I now appreciate it every day.
This blog is a fantastic place to find support from other people who understand what you’re going through and also to seek advice or opinions. Recovering from this injury was probably the most grueling and dedicated work I’ve ever done, but the satisfaction of overcoming it is beautiful. I hope that someone reads this and feels just a little bit less crappy and a little bit inspired. Good luck to you all in your journeys!