Every single obstacle we overcome in our lives, makes us stronger. If we never had any hardships or challenges in our life, we would become complacent and would not strive to do better. We would have no ambition or passion. We would settle for way less than we deserve in life and wouldn’t live up to our full potential. Every challenge we face in life helps shape us into who we are and prepares us for the next challenge that will come our way.
Ever since I was little, sports have always been a huge part of my life. I always found so much joy in the sports I participated in all throughout my life. With these sports, came several obstacles that have only made me stronger in the end.
Flashback to 8 years ago. It was the summer before my senior year of high-school and soccer practice had just begun. I was excited to get to play my heart out for one more season. Little did I know that in only 2 short days after practices started; my whole season would completely change before my eyes. I still remember the day so vividly. We were playing a 1-on-1 drill. I was up 3-1 and I was feeling great. What happened next felt like a blur because it happened so fast. Next thing I knew, my teammate and I collided. As I fell, I felt my bones in my left knee crush together. Within seconds I was down on the ground and was unable to get back up. When I went to the doctor, I was told I had fractured my Tibea Plateau and that I would need to be on crutches for up to 8 weeks. This was devastating news to me at the time, as that meant missing my entire last season of soccer. I remember being so heart-broken and confused. In that moment, I questioned why something like that would happen, when I had worked so hard to play my very best that season. I felt what it was like to have something I had worked so hard for taken from me in an instant. I could’ve given up and said I’m never going to play soccer again after that had happened. But I chose not to let the obstacle defeat me, but to allow it to make me a stronger person.
I was finally cleared to play sports the week before my senior year of hockey was set to start. I was so excited to finally be able to play one of the sports I loved that year. After one week of hockey practices, another obstacle came my way. I was told by the doctor that I couldn’t play any sports for the next month. I had two choices in that moment, to be upset at all of these circumstances happening to me in the previous 5 months or to allow the challenges to make me stronger. Instead of giving up, I chose to embrace it by training harder than I had ever trained for any sport before, until the day came that I was once again cleared to play sports that season. I played my heart out for the rest of my senior year season of high school hockey, with more passion and drive than I ever had in my entire life before that year. I didn’t realize at the time that this experience would completely change my perspective on so many things in life going forward. Battling all the circumstances that happened to me that year, gave me something to fight so very hard for and to keep working at it no matter what got in my way. I can now look back at these situations that happened 8 years ago, and say that I am very thankful that it all happened, because it gave me so much determination, drive, and passion to put my heart and soul into absolutely everything I do. It gave me the confidence that if I could get through 5 months of not being able to do the things I love, then I could get through any other challenge that would come my way.
Next time you come across an obstacle in your life, embrace it with everything you’ve got. Look at each challenge as an opportunity to better yourself and to fuel the fire within you. You will be so thankful later down the road, when you can look back and say that you overcame that challenge and didn’t let it defeat you.