Preparing For Senior Night, My Last Home Volleyball Game

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Preparing for senior night, my last home volleyball game, I found myself sorting through pictures of my high school years and noticed a recurring theme: a bittersweet memory, my walking boot. As silly as it may sound, I have derived much of my identity from this boot. When I meet new classmates, they ask about the status of my injury. “How is your foot? Can you play volleyball again?” I cannot blame them for noticing my bum ankle. For more than a year (on and off), a bulky, grey piece of plastic masked the lower half of my leg. For a part of this time, I even rode through the hallways on a rented medical scooter that my friends affectionately dubbed “Ricky Bobby.” This boot, the thing that once caused me anxiety is now a symbol of my determination. Additionally, it opened my eyes to the field I want to spend the next chapter of my life pursuing: physical therapy. The summer before my junior year, I worked harder than I ever had to train for my first varsity season. Immediately after an intense run, I would go home and ice my ankle to relieve the pain that I ignored during the workout itself. “Push through;” I would tell myself, “be strong!” I thought that I was being strong by working through the pain. Sports media always praises the athletes who played the championship game on a broken foot or a sprained ankle, but you never hear about the kid who trains through the everlasting two-a-days of preseason and never makes it to the first game. I thought that by pushing

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