As a four year starter, for the most part, performance was always at the top of my mind. I have never been one that handled sitting on the bench well, and had not had to deal with my body being the reason for not playing until my Sophomore year of college. I had a muscle atrophy in my right scapula area of my shoulder that became very noticeable and led me to get an MRI. The MRI showed a torn labrum, two tears in my rotator cuff, and a cyst that could be causing the atrophy. On top of that i had pretty bad arthritis in my shoulder. I am a setter, so it did not effect my game majorly but it was getting worse, to the point of it being painful to serve. I put off surgery to avoid missing any part of my season. I was lucky enough to be able to do it that way and continue starting and playing in all four seasons of my college career. The same thing happened the next season, my junior season when i was diagnosed with Exertional Compartment Syndrome in both my calves. Struggling through three of the four seasons I played at Lindenwood effected me in a lot of ways and i think a lot of college athletes can relate. Being the ultra competitive type A personality that i am. The constant struggle to simply be healthy enough to compete stunted my growth as a player and as a person because i was so focused on simply getting to the point that i was at before. I allowed being an athlete to consume my identity at times. When volleyball was not going well, I was not doing well as a person. Now with my college career in the rear view, It has left me with regret about not growing more and achieving the success that I expected coming into my college career. However, there is a lot that I have learned from all of this: God truly does not give you more than you can not handle with his guidance. Every experience is an opportunity for a reaction that you are in complete control of. And, trying to go through anything on your own; is never gonna yield a positive result, whether that support is others or God. Relying completely on your self simply does not work, and frankly is not healthy or how we were designed.
Life Update: I am currently moved back into my parents home in KCMO for the summer, and working through the decision to continue my volleyball career over seas or start my career path here in the states. Prayers are always appreciated. I hope other athletes out there might be encouraged by my story, or it helps positively impact someone in someway. Because writing it down does seem to help me some how.