‘A date which will live in infamy’

The Mayans were wrong. The apocalypse has already come. My world came to a fiery and brutal end much worse than the author of Revelations could have possibly imagined.

Aug. 26, 2010: Crack goes the breaking bone. Sizzle goes the burning house. Wham goes the crashing car.

Life can change drastically in an instant. We all know this, but seldom do we experience it. Often, such a tragedy requires a new start and entirely different perspective on life. It is a rebirth. Aug. 26, 2010, was the day my life ended. And the day my new one began.

As for most, this did not happen by choice. I was perfectly content. As a junior in high school with an exciting fall season of volleyball and cross-country on the near horizon, I was anxiously preparing for success. Why would I choose to end that life? It was out of necessity that my choice was made for me. My life then had to change.

I suppose I am exaggerating somewhat; my house did not burn. No one died. My bones didn’t break. Well, not completely anyway. I learned that my chronic foot pain was not discomfort but, in fact, a metatarsal stress fracture - twins, actually, one in each of my second toes.

Nonetheless, I was completely and utterly devastated. At that point, I considered my life to be over. What was the point of living? My passion was dead. My soul had perished within me, and everything else along with it. The swift and simple delivery of those crushing words, “no volleyball, no running, no biking” and “6-8 weeks” were like a one-two punch, followed by an uppercut and gut kick for good measure.

It was like someone had taken the batteries out of me. I was powerless. Hopeless. Forced to succumb to hairline cracks in two pathetically tiny bones. First came shock and horror. I cried hysterically. I couldn’t accept my circumstances right away.

Then I was angry. Furious. Bitter and resentful. The purely negative aspects of my situation flooded my mind. I wouldn’t earn my varsity letter. I wouldn’t accumulate digs and service points and aces. I wouldn’t lead the cross-country team or PR (set a new personal record). But then, I stopped.

I stopped thinking about what I wouldn’t do. I stopped thinking about what I couldn’t do. Instead I thought about what I WOULD do. I started to think about what I COULD do, which greatly outnumbered that which I could not.

I could walk. I could speak. I could think, feel, hope, believe and BE. I was alive. And that in itself was reason enough to live.

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