Sports are really big parts of my life. That might be partially because they take up so much of my life, but also because they mean a lot to me. Volleyball starts in the summer, goes through the fall, and ends about a week before I start practice for basketball. This means that, all said an done, over half my year is spent doing a nearly ridiculous amount of sports training and playing. That being said, it should be obvious that I would not have persevered at something that takes so much time and effort if I did not love it. From the time I was very small, my parents have pushed me to try things. Over time, they came to see how much they should push me to continue with something, and also when they should just let it drop. For instance, when my mom was teaching me how to read when I was four, I adored learning so they kept pushing me forward. Reading has been one of my absolute favorite things to this day. On the other hand, when I tried to take karate lessons in second grade, after two classes, my dad was certain that I just didn't want to do it. He was right, I wasn't having any fun, and I just didn't really want to be there.
As a tall child growing up, especially for a girl, there were always people talking to (or over) me and asking whether or not I played sports. I had to play sports because I was so tall! Why was I not playing sports?! I don't know about anyone else, but for me, this just made me want to play sports even less. Sure, I was tall, but I was that awkward gangly tall that comes when a child just never stops growing. That kid who walking into doors and hit the wall when trying to turn the corner? Yeah, that was definitely me. Even worse, I was painfully shy and all I ever wanted was to have some quiet time to read. None of these things made me particularly eager to play sports. Fortunately for me, my parents saw this as one of those times to push me forward, whether I liked it or not.
In fifth grade, they made me join the basketball team. I disliked it for the first two years, but kept trying because my parents obviously wanted me to. Luckily for me, the height that made people push me into sports really did help me. I would trip on my feet running down the court, but, being a head taller than all the other girls on the court, all I had to do to rebound was stand underneath the basket and hold my hands above my head. When I was in the seventh grade, they decided that I was going to do another sport - volleyball.
I made it through the awkwardness of middle school, and then through the first three years of high school, gaining not only control over my body, but also confidence and a love of the sport. Now, going into my senior year, I'm feeling the pressure. I made up an acronym for the way I feel before sports things - SHEN, which is "scared, happy, excited, nervous". The old seniors are gone and I am going to have to take up responsibility along with the three other seniors. I was prepared for all of this, even anticipating it, when I received some bad news about what might happen for the upcoming season.
Way back in middle school I received an injury to my right shoulder that never really went away. For the longest time, I just categorized it with the rest of my body that is falling apart (both ankles, both hips, both wrists, lower back, upper back, neck), but 'powered through' it. Last year, I realized that I really couldn't get away with it anymore, because it had gotten progressively worse, and it made hitting and serving in volleyball extremely painful. I went to a sports medicine doctor who let me push off an MRI until after my season and gave me some physical therapy in the meantime. Well, just yesterday I had to go back to my doctor (who is actually really cute, so I like seeing him!).
Talking more about how the symptoms and severity were, he told me that he was pretty sure that my problem was one of two things. The first was a theory that we had been thinking about for a while, which is a labral tear in the cartilage of my shoulder. This would mean surgery that could put me out for part of or all of my senior season. The second was something that he had mentioned, but that I hadn't really given much thought to. Apparently, some volleyball players bodies pinch a nerve when they serve or hit the ball, causing pain and muscle weakness. My symptoms support both theories, so the only way to know for sure is to get an MR Arthrogram, an MRI with contrast that can look into the cartilage of my shoulder. If they can't find a structural deficiency, then I have a nerve problem that could mean not playing volleyball anymore.
Needless to say, these are not the best options to have going into my highly anticipated senior year. I was talking to my best friend about it, and concluded with saying that I don't even know what to pray for because I don't know which option is worse. She responded by saying "Don't pray for one option then - just pray for God to do what's best". I thought that was some of the best advice that I could hear at that moment. I don't need to know which one to pray for, because God already does. I have absolutely no control over which one of these problems I'll be diagnosed with, but God does have a plan for me. Maybe that means not playing volleyball my senior year, or maybe not at all again, but he has his reasons. Permaybehaps it's something that would seem completely crazy, like the tallest girl on the team becoming a setter or libaro, but wherever he leads, I'll follow. Thanks, best friend. <3