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I am torn

Sat, Nov 20th, 2010
Posted in Journal Student Writing Project

Basketball season is fast approaching. It's my favorite time of year. This is something I've always looked forward to, but not anymore. Sitting in the stands watching my former teammates play, I can't help but feel overcome with jealousy. I think to myself, "I was once like them," running down the court with nothing on my mind but the game and a strong desire to win. Now I find it hard to watch, knowing that I may never have that opportunity again because of an injury. I am torn.

I find myself keeping very busy with choir, FFA, student council, senior class president, yearbook staff and as a student aid for Mrs. Becker, all of which I really enjoy. In all actuality this injury has helped me to broaden my horizons. As much as it has taken away from me, it has also done the opposite. It has given me a new type of strength to take opportunities as they come along. Losing opportunities in one domain allows other doors to open up, many of which would have been neglected had I still been in sports. Being "torn" can have its advantages after all.

At the time before my injury occurred, basketball was my opportunity to do something I really loved. Unfortunately, that all came to an end in the middle of a tournament when I was in the 10th grade. Turning around, everything else fell silent. "Pop!" The pressure from an opposing player's foot atop mine was enough to send me to the floor in tears. After going to the doctor, I was upset to hear I had torn my ACL in my knee. Surgery and many months of rehabilitation later, I started easing myself back into the game. It was exhilarating, the best feeling in the world, or so I thought. During practice a few days later, I went to pivot, and once again I was reliving the nightmare all over again. The pain was unbearable. I immediately knew what it was; the feeling is entrenched in my memory. I had torn my ACL in my knee again. It was very upsetting. I remember thinking to myself, "All that work for nothing?" Surgery and many months of rehabilitation once again were inescapable. I was literally torn.

When all of my hard work and pain was over, I was finally given the go ahead to do what I love: Play basketball again. Now it's my senior year, my last chance to play. Do I sit in the stands or do I play? Giving up the opportunity will leave me asking "What if?" My parents comment, "We love to watch you play, but you're going to need your knee later in life and it's not worth the risk." My friends and teammates beg, "Come on!" "We need you." My heart says play, but my mind says don't risk it. Either way I'm still torn.

Danette Stortz is a student at Mabel-Canton High School. She is one of 10 area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its twelfth year.

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