“I will never play indoor volleyball again, my knees cannot support me.” These were my thoughts 3 years ago, when the pain I felt in my right knee was debilitating enough for me to consider leaving the sport indefinitely. I had pain in my knee whenever I jumped or landed.
The pain I felt was very sharp during my play time, as well as chronic and mild during everyday activities. It was to the point where my right knee would sometimes collapse suddenly, without warning when I was simply walking in my volleyball shoes. At the time I was an active first year university student whose only real concerns were my grades, my health and my volleyball. I reasoned that because of my previously diagnosed jumpers knee (highschool) that this was the extent of my volleyball career, and at that point when my condition worsened, at least I still had a gym and/or nature to still use to keep fit and healthy. I never gave any thought into how playing a highly team oriented sport greatly affected my mental health and overall happiness. Going to the gym or taking a run in the park were good outlets to maintain / improve my fitness, but neither of those activities, although the option was available, provided me with a similar outlet to interact and engage with other people than volleyball.
Fast forward 3 years and, in hindsight, I was always searching for highly team oriented activities that I could engage with. I was incredibly active in my residential colleges’ community, I became deeply passionate and involved with a student organisation on campus and everywhere I went I attempted to make similar deep and interconnected relationships that resulted from my experience with volleyball. So here we are, 3 years after I thought I would never return to the sport, playing and debuting my competitive career once again. I have ultimately given myself a 5 year timeframe in which I will be as highly competitive, or even more so, as I was in high school by maturing my skills, understanding of the game and being able to adapt and push my physical limits.
5 years – V
I have given myself a timeframe of 5 years to be the absolute best that I can be mentally, physically and emotionally in the sport before I reassess my life conditions once more. This decision has presented me with a solid and strong sense of purpose and direction, where things in other aspects of my life may be unstable and uncertain, I use this goal as one of my anchor points to keep me moving forward and progressing in life.
It has taken me a lengthy period of time to realise that volleyball has, and will, become one of the keys to achieving “glory” in my life. Only time and proper preparation can tell if I am physically able to keep this goal alive for 5 years.