As Halloween approaches, I can’t help but reminisce about Halloween last year and how my life changed in a matter of minutes.
On October 31, 2014, I was a sophomore volleyball player practicing with Kennedy’s varsity volleyball team. It was the day after we had just defeated Linn Mar in a major comeback that lead to the biggest victory of the 2014 season. Of course, since the win was such a big deal and it was Halloween, we wanted to make the most of practice, having a good time and celebrating our accomplishments. Needless to say, practice was going great until we decided to play different positions for one drill, which lead to me landing on my teammate’s foot, nearly breaking mine. The minute I felt her foot under mine, I knew it was going to be bad. As I think back to what happened, I don’t remember everything. All I remember is being on the ground clenching my left foot, screaming bloody murder, and our assistant coach, Tim Johnson, crouched over me trying to calm me down. It’s safe to say that this turn of events would entirely affect my life.
When I eventually left practice, after being seen by our school trainer, I headed to the ER to get x-rays on my tennis ball sized ankle. Who knew I would actually get to see my bones on Halloween?! After several hours, I finally got the results and if I hadn’t been wearing ankle braces when the injury happened, I would have completely broken my ankle. Since I did have the ankle braces on, the ligaments and muscles in my ankle were all messed up… I kid you not. Long story short, I was to be put in physical therapy immediately to treat this horrible high ankle sprain, which my therapist then told me that my recovery could be anywhere from two to six months.
My journey with physical therapy lasted not two months… not six months… but eleven, 350 days to be exact. But who’s counting, right? My ankle healed within six months, and being the dedicated and competitive athlete I am, I chose to play club volleyball during my recovery which probably prolonged the injury a bit, but I wasn’t willing to take a year off of club. During the end of my recovery when I was working on getting my endurance back, I started getting weird knee pains in my right knee. It wasn’t until after Nationals, that I found out I had a lateral tibia plateau stress fracture on the outside of knee. The stress fracture called for four weeks of inactivity and several more months of intense therapy.
Throughout my whole physical therapy journey, all 350 days of it, I was able to recover from two rough injuries, be a not-so-proud owner of crutches for six weeks and then an extra three later when I got my stress fracture, but I also gained a ton of knowledge about the career path that had been an interest to me since I was in eighth grade.
Like I said, I have always been interested in being a physical therapist, but my experience with it over the last year is what really validated my interest in it. All in all, my experience with physical therapy was nothing but positive. To this day, I still find it crazy how something so horrible can lead to a positive step in my life: finding the perfect career path for me.