Why I Put My Pain Aside To Be A Part Of A Team

I affectionately call myself a “hot mess.” I always seem to get injured, I’ve broken quite a few bones in my life. On top of that I have health issues that tend to cause problems. I have flat feet that give me shin splints and have cysts in both my wrists. Moreover, one of my legs is longer than the other. This causes my ribs to dislocate if I’m not wearing an insert to correct it.

When I was younger I played volleyball and basketball on school teams. Years later, I played golf freshman year but ended up dislocating some ribs and couldn’t play for a while. It was here I learned about my leg length difference. But it was during this time I realized, I didn’t really enjoy golf or the people on my team. This eventually made me decide to stop playing sports

So what made me decide to start playing a sport I had no experience with my senior year of high school? Peer pressure. The friendly type, of course. My friend saw me throw a frisbee during our summer PE class, and she decided I was a natural. She pestered me until I agreed to join the Ultimate Frisbee team once the school year rolled around. My decision was a combination of hoping I was actually good. As well as the excitement that being a part of the team again, gave me.

Besides, I knew if I didn’t like it, I could stop

When I joined the team I didn’t really know anyone on the team too well. And that friend who got me to join? Decided to quit. However, I chose to prevail. The first few practices were alright, and it turned out I was actually not that bad. Even more than that… I was enjoying myself while I was playing, and hanging out with my team.

On the practice day before our first real game, one of my teammates landed on my foot by accident. I ended up with a bruised bone in my toe and a week without playing. Of course I was upset because I was out of commission for a while. But I also felt like I was letting my team down. However, once everyone found out, they were supportive  and made sure I was okay during practices and didn’t push myself too much while I was healing

My coaches and captains were amazing people who make me feel like no matter how well I’m playing, I belong in the game. The two captains, who were both younger than me, always helped me whenever I needed them. I respected them a great deal. They were incredibly accommodating when it came to my health peculiarities. They made sure I knew that I could sit out if I needed. Of course, most of the time, I just kept playing.

All of this reminded me, I had forgotten how fun it was to be part of a team that actually cares about you and supports you.

And so, even now I try not to let a little discomfort get in the way of supporting my team, playing a good game, and enjoying myself. Who knew that one summer day in PE class would change my senior year, and motivate me to keep playing despite the pain? All of my teammates are great people, and it makes me happy that I get to play with them, even when my body isn’t feeling at its best. It is thanks to them and this experience that I learned what being part of a team truly means.

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