The Mind Of A Young Athlete, Glad I Didn't Do It, Nice To Be Alive.In my younger mind, soccer was my life. I played on a Classic 1 team undefeated for years. Soccer was more than a sport to me, it was a lifestyle, it was a source of pride, it was part of what defined me.
In 8th grade I was already looking forward to my Freshmen year knowing they were losing a good sweeper on the High School team, I had a good chance of being pulled up to varsity my freshman year.
At our summer camp, there was a younger kid pulled up to play with us some 3v3 on pug goals. I hooked the ball around on the inside of my right foot to face him, confident I could dribble around him.
He thought I was going to turn into him, with his eyes closed as if anticipating impact and swung with his left foot connecting with the inside of my left knee cap.
With a loud pop, I looked down screaming to see my knee cap stretching the skin off my leg, I was in fear of what happened. Since then it became less fear, and more of an emotional toll, that happened over, and over again.
Going into my freshmen year I missed a season and tried to make up for it playing every day finding pick up games on all the fields in the area. A few days before tryouts I sprained my ankle.
Silent about my ankle, I was okay with making the freshman A team, with prospects of being pulled up later that season.
I continued every day, walking around everywhere with my soccer ball. My first game, the first half freshman year, I dislocated my left knee again. Frustrated I went to physical therapy.
and worked my *** off to make it back for the start of club season. At and indoor game split between to forwards, I lunged to break a through pass and my cleat got stuck in the turf, twisting my leg enough to dislocate my left knee for the third time.
My parents were struggling with money and I knew the hospital bills are not cheap. As soon as my leg went numb I tried to force my kneecap back in but couldn't. I needed someone to pull my leg straight while I pushed my kneecap back in, no one was willing to do so.
The next step was surgery, I was forced to miss another season my Soph. year. At this point one of my friends from my old team whom was a secondary pla
Every person I grew up with on our club soccer team by sophomore year was on varsity with the exception of me.
A week after my surgery by brother had the bright idea of body slamming me on the living room floor, dislocating my knee for the 4th time. My dad restrained from beating the crap out of him, the ambulance was a cost we couldn't afford. They slid a board underneath me, carried me out to van and drove to me to the hospital to have it put back into place.
It started to become a normal appearance for me to be either at school with a soccer ball or crutches. My grades began to slip, my self esteem began to slip, my ideas of playing college ball was becoming a distant dream.
I became severely depressed by Jr. year of high school when the coach told me he wanted to keep me on JV instead of Varsity so I could be pulled up but not fill one of the 26 spots because of the likelihood of me getting injured again.
I began to realize colleges wouldn't want me on a roster as well. I was a credit short of graduating on time, I no longer had the prospects of a scholarship, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. People around school wondered why I always played soccer but wasn't on varsity.
My parents were struggling with money at the time, I was getting cheap lunches, and they were fighting quite often. My dad would come home from work unbelievably stressed and take out his frustrations and sleep deprivation on us.
Then to add onto things my Grandpa was diagnosed, and passed of cancer a few weeks later.
I sank into a deep depression, no one at school knew, I maintained my smile and held conversation. Every day home at school I began to feel nothing, like my body was void of emotion. I remember sitting in a chair just staring, no energy to move, or do anything.
Every night I would stay up sleeping an hour or two at most before school. I began to not contemplate taking my life, but how to do it. I wanted to be successful and didn't want to worry about medical bills or the future problems I would cause myself by surviving. I decided that pills fallowed by slitting of my wrists would do the job.
The night I was going to fallow through, I was sitting at the computer chair, I decided to get on "AIM" as a last second, let's see if anyone wants to talk. I had friends on, but I didn't want to message any of them. I had no urgency, to do anything, I almost gave myself a smug laugh, (why even get on if you don't want to message anyone, you don't want to talk to anyone, why delay).
I noticed someone on my "friends list" that I have never seen before, this was enough to peek my curiosity. I sent her a message asking, "Who, is this?"
Her response echoed mine, "You messaged me, who are you?"
I was confused cause she was on my friends list, I had to of physically added her at some point. We chatted back and fourth, I told her she was added on my list so I must have known her from somewhere. She oddly said I was added on hers but was positive she had no idea who I was. "Where did you go to school?" (never heard of the school) "Ever play online games?" (never played online games) "Where do you live?" (lived in a state I have never been) "Do you know anyone from this area?" (Nope.)
Then being in no rush, since I was about to kill myself anyway... asked her about her life, we started sharing. Without me mentioning anything about soccer or of my knee's, she started to write about her knee dislocations and how she used to play softball.
Surprised shared about my knee's and soccer, she then told me that her father recently died, and that she was really depressed. I found out that she had similar thoughts as me in regards to suicide.
for the fallowing months, we would both be up late and just talk, I felt as though the only reason I was alive, was because I didn't want her to end her life. She was my only reason for living at the time.
We still talk, on and off years later, I still have never met her in person, and we still have no idea how we were added on each-others aim list but I am glad that whatever happened did.
My life is owed to someone I have never met, I found this site looking for it's existence because if it wasn't here, it was something I wanted to create. Take the time to think about what you say to people, to relate to others, to speak with compassion, there is a reason why people are drawn to the comforts of strangers. If comfort can not be found in their lives, and not on here, then where?