Here I am writing a blog post while laying in my dorm room at 3 AM unable to sleep, hiding under the blanket so the light of my laptop doesn’t wake my roommate. I thought about this topic over Christmas break while scrolling through social media so I figured I would get my thoughts out.
My whole life cheerleading was the main thing. When I was younger and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I always said a cheerleader. I was always that girl who people knew as the cheerleader or the girl who could do flips. I looked up to the high school cheerleaders and eventually the level 5 athletes and even today I get giddy if I see college cheerleaders.
I always said I was going to cheer forever (well at least until my mid 20’s) and that I was going to coach (still a dream of mine). During my time cheering I managed to have 2 hand surgeries and still proceeded to be back on the mat, nothing could stop me.
Oct 2014 changed everything for me. This is the time when I got my first major cheer injury. I managed to tear my ACL, MCL, and meniscus (which I later found out in my Athletic Training class last semester this injury is called the Unhappy Triad.). This type of injury takes an athlete out for the season but in many cases the athlete only tears one thing, mainly the ACL, and can have a speedy recovery. My recovery? By May of 2015, about 6 months later, my doctor told me I wasn’t fully healed and needed more therapy. Now this is where I failed my younger self.
After she told me I needed to continue with physical therapy I just gave up. I thought to myself “If I’m never going to cheer again then what is the point?” and that was that. Although at the time I believed this was a sign from God telling me it was my time to stop cheering and lead me down another path, but looking back I can’t help but get upset with myself. I know and have seen people who have pushed so hard and cheered again and again and tear their knees up multiple times because they were so dedicated to the sport. But me? I just gave up. I let my younger self down. I didn’t finish. I guess I wasn’t as dedicated to the sport that I grew up with as I thought.
I know what you are thinking. Just get up and go get stronger and better and get back on the mat. Well I can’t because there is still some part of me that believes this was a sign and that if God wanted me back on the mat he would have pushed me then to get stronger and better.