For the Team

Fear swept throughout my body. Hesitation came next, and frustration followed. I could follow each of these three emotions and classify them as pain. Because even though what had happened to me was painful, it was these three emotions combined in my mind, that was greater than any physical pain at all. The ground usually feels soft, but this time it hit me like a storm. The forces against me were so impactful. All I could hear were gasps, and saw people motionless- their jaws open, their eyes widening. Nobody knew what had happened. I could smell the sweat of the gym and the dirt of the mat right beneath my nose. Everyone looked to me to see my reactions- how I was feeling, what I was doing, what I was going to do. I get up right away. I replay the incident in my head: I was running, taking off, my feet land once. I take off again, but this time more hesitant. Man, I knew I shouldn’t have done it without feeling confident, because the second my mind told me “you did not set high enough,” my body freaked out and my feet did not touch the ground. My hands did. And on top of my hands, was my entire body. All I heard were the crunches of each little bone on my left hand. A numbing sensation followed throughout my hand as I get up, trying to brush it off. My mind was having thoughts speeding through my head like a train who’s been 3 stops behind on schedule. “No, no no no… Please no. Please don’t tell me it’s sprained. MSL is in 2 days... I can’t do this to my team, I can’t let them down.” And it wasn’t the pain of my hand that made me want to burst out crying, because that’s not what hurt since my hand was numb. What roared like a fire in my mind was the pain of letting my team down. I knew I was an essential part to the team. I knew I had to brush it off and pretend I was fine, I just had to. I held my bad hand with my other, and I faked a smile and said nothing.