An injury, no matter how severe, can be detrimental to anyone. Most of the time the injury is painful, and overall just inconvenient. I was someone who had never been seriously injured before. That is, until my junior year when I found out I tore my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) playing lacrosse. The ACL is one of the key elements in keeping your knee stable. Through tearing my ACL, my knee was rendered useless if I did not have surgery. Said surgery would require up to nine months of recovery, as well as crutches for three months. Of course, my initial reaction was to cry; I had just lost my field hockey season, indoor track season, and potentially my lacrosse season. Anyone in this situation would also have a similar reaction. Facing this reality, however, is what changed me for the better.
An hour after my surgery as I tried to shove my lifeless leg into the back seat of my mom’s car, I decided that I have the power to control the outcome of this unfortunate event that had happened to me. From then on out I vowed that I would always attempt to see the injury in a positive light. From lifting weights at physical therapy to taking my first run on a treadmill, every step of the way was a small victory for me. Not only did this keep me optimistic in a time of doubt for myself, but I was able to keep motivated and not slack on any of my exercises and workouts needed to gain a full recovery.
Now, as a freshman at West Virginia University, my knee is completely healed but the scars remain, figuratively and literally. Because of this injury, each time I go to the gym I am grateful to be able to run and lift weights. I am reminded of how there was a time when I couldn’t stand without needing help. I always tell myself I need to take advantage of the opportunity I had from tearing my ACL. Through tearing my ACL, I was given the chance to re-evaluate how I viewed life and what type of healthy lifestyle I should be living. Before the injury, I was highly involved in athletics, but I never did any exercise outside of that. After recovering, all I have ever wanted to do is to keep moving and keep working out. In my head, I am telling myself “Hey look! It’s moving, it’s working!”. I am grateful for any chance I get to be able to use my knee to its full ability.
For those placed in the same situation I was once faced with, use it to your advantage! Don’t let the injury define you in those few months of recovery. Let your positivity and optimism be what people remember. This may be slightly cliche, but it is true. Don’t let people see you only as someone that “broke this” or “tore that”. Be proud of your recovery. Be excited about what you can do now with what you learned about yourself and your body on your journey.
Edited by Sydney Keener