I've been playing soccer since I was 2 years old, starting at my local YMCA. I completely feel in love with it! As I got older, my team became more and more competitive. I started playing on multiple teams, playing Showcase, and played as a starter on my high school Varsity team as a freshman. Unfortunately, I suffered a devastating knee injury - I tore my meniscus. I actually tore it when I was about 8 years old, but it didn't bother me too much and my parents didn't want me to have surgery on my knee so young if I really didn't need it. As I got older and more competitive, I made the choice to finally have surgery the summer between my 8th grade and 9th grade years. I knew that without the surgery that I didn't stand a chance to play at the next level. I was released by the physical therapist just in time for my freshman tryouts. I made the Varsity team, and was a freshman starter. I was able to finish my high school without any issues with my knee. I felt like I was on top of the world! A few months later, I developed a buckle tear in my meniscus. The summer between my 9th grade and 10th grade years, I had my 2nd surgery to repair the tear. During that surgery, my doctor discovered that he could not repair my meniscus and actually had to remove it. I was completely devastated! Without being able to play soccer, I don't know who I am! My doctor is an absolute rock star and knew how important playing soccer was. I was placed on a transplant list and about 1 month after my 2nd knee surgery, I had my 3rd surgery - my transplant surgery. Recovering from that surgery was the hardest thing that I've ever done in my life! I was forced to sit on the sidelines, as the manager of my high school team instead of a player. It absolutely hurt my heart each and every game to know that I could not go on that field with my teammates. It took my almost a full year to recover and rehabilitate from the transplant. I am very happy to say that I was able to step back on the soccer field this past June. I am in the best shape of my life and my knee has never felt better! I've worked so hard to get back to where I was, that I exceeded my goal! I am playing stronger and better than I've ever had!
I know first hand how hard athletes have to work to be able to play the game that they love. Hard work is what separates the good from the great. I pride myself, and am know for, how hard that I work. I will never stop working for my dreams of also playing soccer at the next level!