By: Sarah Bowling

The road to recovery is a long, winding, and bumpy path. There are so many obstacles and roadblocks standing in the way, and they each run their own treacherous course. Recovery can come from all things; physical or mental injury. For me, it happened to be physical. Like most athletes, I endured an inevitable injury that some athletes eventually endure; a broken ankle. For me, it finally happened after my 11 years of playing soccer and sports. With utter most confidence, I can say that immediately after it happened, I was in shock and of course physical pain. The mental pain didn’t hit me until I realized I would be out of not only sports for the next 2 months, but also regular and daily activities that I took for granted. After I had the surgery on my ankle, my steps to recovery began.

1) Realization and Acceptance: I realized that I would be on crutches for the next eight weeks, and at first, (like many other people), I was excited to be on crutches because they just look like so much fun right? Of course I was immediately proven wrong, because now everything feels like a chore. Even the simplest of actions.

2) Being alone with your thoughts: The broken leg life can actually be very boring, but this comes as no surprise. Being on crutches has slowed me down immensely, and I’ve found it extremely difficult to not be participating in the sports and activities that I had been involved in before my injury. Without all the action and adventure comes with the mind behind it all. Being alone with my thoughts has actually presented me with new outlooks on things. I’ve been able to really think about what I’m going to do after I’m healed, and how I’m going to let this experience define me, and I cannot lie; it’s been demoralizing. I am missing out on playing for the schools soccer team, which is something I have been looking forward to immensely. However, it seems as though it’s time to take my time elsewhere, into other hobbies. That brings us into step number 3.

3) Taking action: During the longing times of recovery, it’s important to not sit around, waiting for the time to come where you’re finally healed. It’s imperative to get involved with other things, and use your time to interest yourself in things that may have never seemed interesting before.

4) Coping with the proper mindset: Although however seemingly challenging it may be through the road to recovery, it’s important to understand that it is only temporary, and that things will improve and that you will heal.

While on my road to recovery, although not easy, I can say that I’m using this experience to shape me into a better person, and someone who understands that there are other things out there to spend your time doing besides our daily routines. So, if you ever find yourself on your road to recovery, remember to remain positive, and to embrace this experience, as it may present a new outlook on the world. In the meantime, remember to not take the little things for granted! You never know when they can be taken away from you.