Overcoming an Unexpected Hurdle

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When I was a runner on my high school track team, I would get the most daunting feeling from staring down the 10 hurdles in front of me as I took my place at the starting line. But after receiving some disappointing medical news, those 10 obstacles became trivial compared to the significant new one I would come to face.

In the midst of my senior season, I fell hard mid-race. A competitor accidentally knocked a hurdle into my lane, causing me to land incorrectly on my left leg and sent me tumbling to the ground. I never heard the indicative pop in my knee, but I knew immediately something was wrong as I limped off the track.

The lead trainer at my school was the first to suggest the possibility of a torn ACL, information later confirmed by my doctor. As I sat in the exam room with my parents and sister, I listened intently to my options for surgery and recovery, calmly attempting to process each detail. Only later, as my sister drove me home, did I begin to realize the reality of the situation and finally broke down crying.

I thought about all the training and hours of practice, suddenly for nothing. I realized my goal of finally reaching state finals would forever be unachieved. I even began to dread the thought of myself on crutches for weeks, and the six months of recovery, which would prevent me from playing club volleyball in college as I had planned.

As my senior year progressed, my mindset improved and, even though it was difficult, I began to come to terms with these things I would miss. I opted for surgery, which went well, and at graduation, I walked proudly across the stage — crutches and all.

Now, six years later, the problem — which at that moment had stopped me in my tracks — has become so minimal. After a full recovery, I was still able to play three full years of club volleyball in college, while also successfully completing my course work. I now even hold a sense of pride when I share the story, and my scar has become a badge of honor, showing that I overcame this difficult hurdle and learned I could come back even stronger than before.

Tags: Self Confidence

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Written By

Megan Hageman

Megan Hageman is a Columbus-based freelance writer specializing in content writing and SEO. She writes on topics ranging f... See Full Bio

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