I didn’t really know what to think or expect from high school football. I played since I was a young kid in Vista Pop Warner. Something about the first time I saw a game on TV I wanted to play so badly. I would urge my parents for years to sign me up. It wasn’t until 5th grade when I was finally able to set foot in the pads and helmet that would look way to big for a kid’s head that it looked like any of us would topple over head first into the ground. I enjoyed those years. All the running, the sweat dripping down into your eyes in the hot summers of Vista’s dry desert air, had you running to the water like it was an oasis. High school was only harder, and I learned something very valuable from it.
As an 8th grader going into high school you feel a little intimidated by the coaches, returning players who seem like bodybuilders compared to you had you thinking how you could get like them one day. The summer practices were tough, but I was determined to push through the pain. Some days were worse than others, we had dedicated days for conditioning, meaning to get in better shape, after a few times of the run, I felt like was gonna pass out. First it starts with not drinking enough water, and it took effect when we ran, your head feels like you just spun in a chair way too many times and your vision blurs as if your eyes could not focus. You can barely hold yourself up because you’re so dizzy.
It was late August and I had made it to the end of the summer practices, feeling accomplished and it felt good knowing you worked hard, especially in the conditions that we all went through. It was the last practice before school started when we started doing some tackling drills. We had ran through a few with no problems but when It was my turn to go up next me and my teammate met with his shoulder into my chest. I knew immediately something was wrong. I could feel something that felt like a bone move every time I inhaled. The pain wasn’t to harsh but the thought of my work and perseverance and determination meant nothing anymore. When I got to the ER I was waiting for my results of my my x-ray the nurse told me, “ It should heal in 4 to 6 weeks.” Those words gave me a sense of hope but when the real doctor came in he told me otherwise, “ So, it should take around 8 to 10 weeks for the bone to fully heal.” I looked at my mom and said, “ I thought it was only gonna take 4 to 6 weeks” with the feeling of hopelessness that my mom could see in me. I would not be able to play for the rest of the season as I had broke my collar bone. It completely broken in two along with my hopes of playing for rest of the season.
It was hard for me to accept that my season was over in an instant even though I worked a whole summer or blood, sweat, and exhaustion just for it to mean nothing in the end. It brought tears to my eyes but it would help me realize that not just in sports but in life you never know when something could drastically change and there is nothing you can do it about. You can’t let it change you, you still work hard no matter what. I would remain healthy for the next season and I was finally able to play and it was one of the best feelings to know that my hard work, perseverance, determination actually paid off. I can most compare this Jeannette Walls in The Glass Castle when she gets burned while making hot dogs. Instead of letting this moment haunt her, as soon as she’s healed she was eager to get back and give it another shot.