16 and having my third ACL surgery Tuesday

by Lydia
(South Carolina)

I am 16 years old and a junior in high school. Playing Division 1 college soccer has been my dream since I was very young. I first tore my ACL when I was in the 9th grade during a pre-season tournament for a Club team that I played on. Having done this at the beginning of the season, meant that I would miss the entire Club season but I may get to play some of high school ball. Rehab was long and very painful but I wanted to get through it so that I could get back to what I love the most. I rehabed very well and was able to play some of the end of high school season. I worked really hard to get back in shape and it payed off!!! I really wanted to step my game up because I felt with having to miss the entire Club season, that I was somewhat behind schedule. I did some research and found a school in Florida called the IMG Sports Academy and I went for the whole summer to train. It was awesome and now I felt like I was back where I needed to be. My family made a huge sacrifice and allowed me to go and live there in the fall because I loved it so much. We trained five days a week and play games on the weekends. I had really improved my game since my injury and was comfortable where I was as a player to live out my dream. Our regular season had come to an end and now we were beginning to train for up coming college showcase tournaments. At practice I went to turn because a player was getting past me and when I pivoted my right leg stayed put but my body kept going and I heard it pop three times just like the first one. I knew I had torn my ACL again!!! After the MRI confirmed that I had torn my right knee I cried a lot and sometimes felt like just giving up but I couldn't give up what I had worked so hard for. I had the surgery on November 18, 2008 and began my rehab. It was very hard this time because my parents made me come home for a semester so that meant having to leave the place that I loved. All went well with the rehab and then my parents let me go back to IMG in June of 2009. I

really worked hard all summer long to get back in shape to be able to keep up with the level of play here. My knee hurt a lot and then I started having problems with my calves because of my knee hurting. They at one point thought that I may have compartment calf syndrome. All I could think about was, ok what is going to happen to me next. Well the regular season was over and I was playing in a college showcase tournament in Miami, and guess what, I jumped up for the ball and came down and landed on my right knee and it hurt really bad!!! I really didn't think it was my ACL I thought maybe just my meniscus because I had also torn that last time so it felt more like that. Well it was New Years so my doctor was on vacation so that meant that I would have to wait from Tuesday until Monday to find out the results. I was so sick that I just wanted to die!!!! Well Monday came and yes, I had torn my right ACL again!!! I called my mom and we both just cried and cried. My family lives 10 hours away so I am going back home to have the surgery on Tuesday of this week. I will go back to IMG after two weeks and start my rehab. My family has always taught me that things happen for a reason so I have to look at this as God's plan for me. I still would like to play college soccer but I will have to look at it in a different way now. I don't want to loose sight of the dream I've always had but because I'm a junior in high school It will be hard to get a scholarship. Getting a scholarship is a personal goal of mine but my parents have always told me to not pick a school because of soccer, pick a school because of academics. So maybe I will now try to be a walk on at the school of my dreams. As much as some people would think that all of what I have gone through is negative, I look at it as a positive experience because it has taught me to trust in God and turn everything over to him. I have grown personally from this and it has made me to never take anything for granted and it has made me really appreciate my family.

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