Embrace the Unexpected

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8383452147_0f179d1c42_mBy Jalyn

When I started the eighth grade I thought I knew exactly what i wanted to do and who I wanted to be. I wanted to play basketball. It was all I ever knew. Since birth basketball has been a prominent, and almost integral, part of my life. So when I got injured I didn’t know what to do with myself.

During a game I made a sharp turn and my leg gave out. My hip joint had slipped out of socket. The plan that I had made to play college basketball was completely ruined. My doctors told me that even if I recovered I may not have the same abilities that I used to have.  When I found out I was frightened, confused, and frustrated. I hated being told what my body could and couldn’t do. I had to go through surgery and spent several nights in the hospital, unable to move.

After the procedure I had to be on crutches for 12 weeks. After that I could walk but could not participate in any physical activity for another 6 weeks. With all the restraints I had to put on my body I thought I was going to lose my mind. I felt that I had no control. I had to modify everything I did and it felt as though I had lost a part of myself. It was especially difficult to know that even after the surgery and rehabilitation my hip might not ever be the same.

During the 18 weeks after my operation I had to find things that I enjoyed that were not basketball. I wanted to distract myself from what I couldn’t do and pour my energy into things that I could do. That’s when I really discovered my love for music. I had always liked music and took lessons as a kid but I was too focused on basketball to fully entertain any other activities. During this time i spent more time listening to music and learning about types of music that I had never been exposed to. I started practicing piano, clarinet, and saxophone more frequently and became excited about making music.

What I thought was going to be a terrible experience ended up teaching me so much about myself. Instead of doing what I was used to I began to reach outside of my comfort zone and find other things I enjoy. I also learned how to deal with the loss of something that was really important to me. Although my hip injury was very painful so many good things came out of it. I am so grateful for all that this experience has taught me. Even though it was not in my original plan I am a better, and happier, person because of it.

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