I have played soccer virtually my whole life,
so when my soccer coach asked a few of us if we wanted to try tennis
I wasn’t sure what to think.
We kick balls not hit them.
I had no idea how to play and what I was in for.
A couple of months before starting high school I decided to give tennis a try.
I would go out and practice once a week and learn the rules of the game.
Being athletic and dedicated allowed me to become a pretty strong tennis player in a short amount of time.
Once I came to high school I practiced every day.
Most of the time the team and I would play until dark, and often we would come out on the weekends striving to become better.
My sophomore and junior years of high school our tennis team, of primarily soccer players, won back-to-back CIF Southern Section Division 5 titles.
This was a huge accomplishment not only for us as incoming, inexperienced tennis players, but also for our school.
In 100 years, we were only the second girls’ sports team at our high school to win a CIF title. I was so incredibly proud of my teammates and myself.
We beat schools two and three times our size.
We proved through dedication, determination, and teamwork, we could succeed.
This was an amazing experience I will cherish forever.
Following our CIF victory the second time, most of my teammates and I went right into soccer season.
December 20th, 2013, my team and I were warming up for a game and noticed the turf grass was older and a different texture.
Not thinking anything of it I went out and played with my normal intensity and speed. Running on the field, I felt great until my foot was caught in the turf and I heard a loud pop in my knee.
I immediately fell to the ground.
I stood up and tried to run, but I knew something was seriously wrong.
A couple days after my injury, I received an MRI, which confirmed I tore my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
I was completely devastated.
Hearing those words, I knew I would have a long and difficult road ahead of me.
My next thought was tennis.
All I could think about was the game I had grown to love and my teammates. How could I get back to tennis?
That’s when I knew my goal was to recover before tennis season started in August.
Once I found out I tore my ACL, I immediately had surgery and started the rehabilitation process.
Throughout rehab I strived to do more.
My physical therapist would tell me to do two sets of an exercise and instead I would do three.
I wanted to get better and I knew that if I worked hard enough I would recuperate faster.
Three months after I had surgery, I found out that I had damage to my femoral nerve during surgery, which delayed my progress.
Clearly a setback in reaching my goal, as I had been working really hard to get better.
I knew now I was going to have to fight and continue to persevere to reach my goal.
Throughout this experience I have learned that I am stronger than I ever imagined.
I have learned to fight through the challenges I have encountered.
Although, I still struggle physically, and I have to work twice as hard as everyone else to get to the ball, I will not give up.
This challenging experience has helped to shape me into the determined person I am today.