Injury can stop the player, but not the game

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hanaeheadshot copyPlaying through the pain is nothing new to me, but when I’m forced to wear a boot or walk with crutches, the game changes.
I was walking down the back staircase at school when I missed a step, slipped and landed on my ankle. My co-captain, Alex Wood, saw the whole thing and quickly picked me up and carried me to the Main Hall and sat me on one of the chairs.Tears would not stop rushing down my face, not because of the pain but because I knew I could not play volleyball. Throughout my volleyball career, I have had minor injuries including jammed fingers, shin splints and a hyperextended knee, but none were as bad as this sprain. I was angry at myself for being clumsy.As a captain and the starting setter for varsity, I know I have let the team down. The day after my injury, we had a game against The Urban School, and I could not do anything but sit on the bench and encourage my teammates. Throughout the day the thing that kept circling my mind was the question, “How can I be the captain of this team when I’m on the bench?” It was hard enough watching my teammates scramble on the court as they were not as used to playing with our backup setter. There was little I could contribute.We won that game, but that is not what I am worried about the most. We are playing International this Friday — our big rivals from last season. Both my coach and I know I have to play. I have been soaking my foot in a bucket of ice water for two to three hours to reduce the swelling every night since the incident. I am now off my crutches and am walking with a boot on. It is a big struggle because my ankle still hurts, but I know that I need to be able to play by Friday.The reality is, I might not recover in time for the big game and I may have to sit on the bench again. My ankle will not miraculously heal and let me run around the court as I did last week. Every night, before I go to sleep, I think about whether I should possibly miss this one game or miss the entire season. I have not decided yet. It is a bigger struggle than the sprained ankle itself.

Hanae Nakajima
Sports Editor

Playing through the pain is nothing new to me, but when I’m forced to wear a boot or walk with crutches, the game changes.

I was walking down the back staircase at school when I missed a step, slipped and landed on my ankle. My co-captain, Alex Wood, saw the whole thing and quickly picked me up and carried me to the Main Hall and sat me on one of the chairs.

Tears would not stop rushing down my face, not because of the pain but because I knew I could not play volleyball.

Throughout my volleyball career, I have had minor injuries including jammed fingers, shin splints and a hyperextended knee, but none were as bad as this sprain. I was angry at myself for being clumsy.

As a captain and the starting setter for varsity, I know I have let the team down. The day after my injury, we had a game against The Urban School, and I could not do anything but sit on the bench and encourage my teammates.

Throughout the day the thing that kept circling my mind was the question, “How can I be the captain of this team when I’m on the bench?”

It was hard enough watching my teammates scramble on the court as they were not as used to playing with our backup setter. There was little I could contribute.

We won that game, but that is not what I am worried about the most. We are playing International this Friday — our big rivals from last season. Both my coach and I know I have to play.

I have been soaking my foot in a bucket of ice water for two to three hours to reduce the swelling every night since the incident. I am now off my crutches and am walking with a boot on. It is a big struggle because my ankle still hurts, but I know that I need to be able to play by Friday.

The reality is, I might not recover in time for the big game and I may have to sit on the bench again. My ankle will not miraculously heal and let me run around the court as I did last week.

Every night, before I go to sleep, I think about whether I should possibly miss this one game or miss the entire season. I have not decided yet. It is a bigger struggle than the sprained ankle itself.

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