Narrative Essay

Physical Awareness

Lying on the spiky turf field, screaming in pain, I knew this could be the worst day of my life. The rush playing soccer gives me is indescribable. People at this age are getting bored of their childhood sports and activities, but never has the thought even come to my mind of taking a break from soccer, until I was forced to.

This season everything was going right. I was the co-captain, meaning I got the privilege of being the leader of my team for half the season. My first game was on October 16th 2016. It was a cloudy fall Sunday and we were playing Burnaby on our home field at Gates Park. My position is usually center midfield because I am a passer, though a few of our forwards were missing, so I volunteered to play as a forward that day. We were up 1-0 and there was about 10 minutes left in the game. We had a fast break and someone hit it up to me on the right side of the field. I controlled the ball and started sprinting up the side of the field when I saw out of the corner of my eye an opposing player running up on my left. I knew I had to pass the ball before the girl took it from me. Seeing no one in front of me, I made a sudden stop and turned. I heard a pop as if someone had jumped on a piece of bubble wrap or like listening to 100 knuckles cracking instantly. I collapsed to the ground, screaming as I experienced the most excruciating pain I had ever felt. Lying there, I knew I had torn my ACL, an athlete’s worst nightmare. Of course I didn’t want to believe myself. You hear all these awful injuries yet you never believe you will experience one, until you do.

After being carried off the field by my coaches, I tried to convince my parents to let me stay and watch the game. They soon saw that my knee was swollen up like a balloon so we rushed off to the hospital. The hospital trip gave me a bit of hope after they took a few X rays, gave me some crutches, and sent me on my way saying, “Go see a specialist if it still hurts in a week.”

Crawling into bed that night, I placed my knee on the bed and shifted my weight onto it, causing a shooting pain from my thigh to my ankle. I plopped down onto the bed, unable to stifle my cries, my mom came running into my room to say, “I don’t care what that doctor said, we are seeing a specialist tomorrow.”

I soon discovered I needed an MRI, which was quite an uncomfortable experience. I was placed on a cold hard table with a thin pillow under my head. My knee was held tightly in place by two foam cushions so that I couldn’t move it. The woman technician put headphones over my ears and, from a smaller room, pleasantly ordered me to hold still every 30 seconds. Hearing the loud buzzes and beeps made a shiver run up and down my spine. After what felt like a decade, I was finally free of the contraption. Then the wait for the results came.

It only took a week, but getting asked by everyone at school what happened to me was tiresome. The day finally came when I was informed of the worst news possible, I had torn my ACL and I needed surgery. I could not play soccer for over a year. The tears caused by the pain of the event will never amount to the ones that ran down my face that day. It’s like the one thing that defined who I was, was taken away from me.

So we set a surgery date right away. It was on January 23rd 2017. I refused to cry that day, as it was the first step to gaining back my passion. I showed up at the hospital and was asked to kindly put on a gown where my backside would be shown: lovely. A nurse then walked me down to the surgery room. As I walked in, I was blinded it was so bright. There were 7 people in it, which was when it really hit me that this was a “major surgery”. Trying not to focus on the numerous tools around the room, I walked over and laid down on the chilly metal table as the doctors started surrounding me. One man placed a mask over my nose and mouth. I thought to myself I don’t feel anything, why isn’t it doing anything? I soon started questioning the craziest things like, Did I actually hurt my knee? Am I in surgery right now? And then they just kept getting weirder, What even is Earth? Am I a girl? What is a girl? A nice woman doctor grabbed my hand and said, “Squeeze my hand Zoe.” Another doctor told me, “You’re going to feel a little poke Zoe,” as he put the IV in my arm. Then I was out. I had no dreams, no sense of time, I didn’t even see black. I just woke up in a different room. It was the most surreal day I had ever experienced.

Since then, I have been working on the strength of my legs every day and counting down the months until I can play soccer again. Being able to do more and more activities as time goes by is like unwrapping presents throughout the year. I was recently just cleared to jog again and it made me feel radiant. Something I learned from the whole experience is to appreciate everything my body can do. The little things like running and jumping bring me so much joy now and I will never take them for granted again.


2 things I did well:

I created detail through imagery, showing the story instead of telling it. I had no spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistakes.

2 things I could do better:

Cutting out dead wood would have improved my writing on this assignment as well as naturally stating my purpose.

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