There had been only a couple days left till the very first football game of my senior year. The team we are playing was the Haywood County Spurs, and the game we had been preparing and practicing for since our sophomore year. The sun was blistering hot, shining down on my shoulder pads, baking me in my uniform like a freshly made apple pie on a summer day. This only made practice worse as I put all effort into it as I could. I was so sore and fatigued and happy that by the end of the week we wouldn’t be having any more sweat dripping practices. 100 yard dashes and High-jumps were not something people wanted to do every day, that’s for sure.
And after those warm-up exercises we moved onto play calling. The team worked hard together during practices and repetitively did each and every play so that they came to us like a fond habit. We wanted to have these plays inscribed in our minds as we slept. Then, creating a strange tranquil moment, Assistant Coach Harrison yells, “Final Play! ” This play, this very play was “Green 336” which is handoff to the running back, me, straight out of our Draw series. I ran to the right of the quarterback ball in my hands holding it like a sack of potatoes. We ran the play making sure we didn’t need to make any changes and observed.
I let out a moan of relief because we were finally done with the worst part of practice. Then usually someone will complain or bitch about not knowing their route on a screen play and we will have to run it again. Coach Anderson put him upon himself and decided we needed to run through that last screen play before we spent the rest of practice perfecting our defense. The play was silently made in the huddle with all intentions of finally getting it correct. I paused myself and ran the play through my head a thousand times remembering what the snap count was supposed to be.
I then would run through again and figure out exactly what I am supposed to be doing and how I am going to do it. The football shot back from the center right into the quarterback’s hands. I jolted to the right of our team’s quarterback to position myself as his backside protection. Out of the side of my peripheral, I became aware of the defensive end burrowing en route for the quarterback. I took a large step right into him lowered my body and ferociously slammed through his shoulder pads which threw him perfectly off course into the pass protection. POP!
My shoulder was lashed backwards, while the rest of my body carried on with my block. I yanked reversely so my shoulder kept going and my body stayed back. Gravity dropped my knees hard to the ground I had no way of preventing it. Left hanging was my arm no longer being supported by my shoulder. The only support I had left was the assistance of my other arm holding it very close to my side to avoid it from any additional damage. I was in some serious pain. My body was being taken over by adrenaline acting as its own personal anesthetic, for a moment it took my mind off of the intense pain I was about to feel.
I didn’t even trouble myself in getting up from the field as the team calmly rushed to the huddle. Nobody had realized I was still lying there but I did not care one bit. The only thing I had running on my mind was “My senior season is through, it is ruined and flushed down a drain, and I will never be able to achieve my ambitions and goals I had set for myself this year. ” I slowly regained myself and worked my way to my feet. My arm hung flaccid on my side, walking towards the edge of the field. I seriously felt like some confused drunk or after you get off one of those rides that spin at a festival.
I had to force myself off the field each step harder than the last. Somehow I had to concentrate my thoughts and relieve myself or I would panic too much. Coach Anderson and Coach Harrison hurried over to me worriedly asked, “What’s going on? Is everything alright? ” I had to put on enough self-control to let loose a couple syllables saying, “I am not really sure what is wrong I think I arm came out of socket. ” As things kept going, I got queasy and pretty dizzy, I had to keep pacing around and gulping down air to make sure whatever was residing my stomach was going to stay there.
The throbbing and stinging was finally breaking through the anesthetic and it was making my eyes water. This pain was making me more and more nervous about trying to fix whatever was wrong with my arm. I finally was able to locate the majority of my pain and it was in my shoulder. Coach Anderson spoke to me, “You need to hold still and quiet down! You are going to end up putting yourself in shock! I desired to relax because I wanted to get rid of that searing pain in my shoulder. I loaded my lungs up with a good amount of oxygen; I then took my left arm and twisted it around Coach Harrison’s rm, and yelled in anguish as Coach Anderson attempted to put my arm back in the socket. So many times did he try to put it back in and I kept yelping and screaming in pain, every instant making the pain increase. My uncle, who is also a coach, finally came to the conclusion that it needed to be reset. My uncle cursed and yelled “We’re taking you to the doctor now! ” He seemed very frustrated with the situation. My uncle decided to call my parents, my dad picked up and said mom was already on the way to pick me up and should almost be there.
Then he called my doctor right after wards and they seemed to be on the phone talking a little while and my uncle was looking more and more pissed. Everyone else on my team was still going at the offensive plays especially now that I was out. I heard the two team captains screaming at a few freshman “you are weak! You can do better! ” Some days they really pushed your physical and mental limitations but I never let them get to me. My uncle hung up the telephone and grumbled a few things to himself,” This is crazy, you can’t be serious! ” as he furiously pressed the ‘end’ key on his cellular. The doctor that was in the office didn’t even want to see me. He seemed very ignorant anyway and told me to find some other way, looks like we are going to the Emergency room. ” Those frightening words really scared me. This whole situation scared me and made me think, “My senior year is over. ” “C’mon let’s do this shit again! ” I shouted. I have constantly had a fear of the hospital. If you think of a hospital, when does something good ever come out of it? “Never! ” We decided to try popping it back into place a few more times like a habit I kept my arm around his like I was pinching it and never let go.
Coach Harrison reached for my arm and reassuringly spoke to me, “loosen up; you have to calm down. “I took a very large breath of air and calmed myself as much as possible. Yank! Pull! Tug! Click! Like someone turned on the lights I finally felt it go back in, but the anguishing pain in my shoulder was relentless. I thought this pain was supposed to go away! Coach Anderson spoke to me, “Your uncle is still going to take you to the hospital it needs to be made sure it’s been set right. ” I groaned, “Give me the pain killers! ” “We are not allowed to give you any according to the CHSSA. ”- stated Coach Baird.
Of course this day was certainly not going the way I thought it was going to go since I woke up this morning. My Uncle and Coach Harrison lent me a hand to hop into my Uncle’s SUV. We sped down the road towards the emergency room as fast as the SUV would take us. When we were pulling out of practice my mom was on her way to pick me up. My uncle called her over and went through the whole story with her. My mom decided to join us to Baron. On our way their the SUV hopped all over the road throwing me around like a little stuffed animal being torn up by a dog making my shoulder feel worse. The one time I have to go somewhere important and there are more cars on this road than normal! ” I shouted to my uncle. It felt like I had been in the car for hours, we finally came to the big flashing sign that says Emergency room. As we got ourselves settled in the nurse took me to a large empty room as my mom gave them all my information. I thought I was alone till I heard long delayed beeps from the ladies monitor on the other side of the curtain. I felt like she was going to croak at any minute! This anxiety I had felt was so intense it made me sweat and had frozen me on the spot.
The little butterflies frantically flapped around in my stomach as I waited patiently for the nurse. “Will everything go the way I want it too, will everything go as planned? ” I sat there constantly thinking about what might happen to me. I sat in the hospital and imagined the life without me as my comrade’s head to war. I couldn’t even figure out why they had to do this on their own but they had too. I had been fighting and struggling with my teammates since seventh grade, and when they heavily relied on me the most, all I could do was lie there and have some optimism.
I truly despised the feeling of vulnerability and weakness though, but all this considering I know there was not a thing I can do and it killed me inside each and every second. The nurse came back finally and had a needle that looked long enough to go right through my arm. “Hey! Do you really need a needle that size? ” The nurse said, “We need to do an IV so the pain killers will go to the right spot in your shoulder; you might start getting dizzy, so you should lie down. ” As I laid down she stuck the needle in my arm it keep going further and further, almost like it wasn’t even going in at all.
Did I mention I hate needles? After a few short minutes the morphine finally kicked in and I am not going to lie it was pretty awesome. I was actually putting myself in pain because it was fun. Not the kind of thing I should be doing though that’s for sure. For the last time the nurse got me and this time I had to get X-rayed. This was going to show whether my shoulder was set back into the right place or not. Like a turtle I followed her down the corridor toward the place where they take X-rays and each step felt like an inch closer to death.
Once we got in there to take the pictures she kept awkwardly positioning my arm to take them and it felt like forever then I got a quick MRI done. Once we were done with both of those I went back to the “empty” room where the old lady was still beeping like a champ. This lady sure has a will to live I really hope she makes it. I felt like I was waiting forever for the doctor to finally arrive when, the doctor rushed in while jotting on a clipboard. He cunningly put my x-rays on some sort of board with a light behind it and showed us that my arm had been set correctly. Yes! No more yanking up and down on that shoulder. ” The doctor finally said “But, from the MRI scans you have some torn ligaments in your shoulder and it looks like you will have to miss 6 to 8 weeks of football. ” The only thing that I thought about at that moment was, “My football career has ended, and my last year is a bust. ” After the long hours of sulking and depression from my injury I finally started to really think about my life. Now that I am injured I am not going to be able to do anything with football I need to make a change.
I took a different perspective and realized I want to do something in the health field. I wanted to make a change and help people with their health problems. I finally decided that I wanted to go to school to be a Radiologist. Nothing related to football and made my really focus on my studies. This was a very big change and one I do not regret. I still wonder if there had been something I could have done to not have hurt myself on that final play we ran if my life would be so much different right now. I felt like I was loaded with so much disappointment and regret.
All I could focus on were the feelings echoing through my heart knowing I was done. Sounds of “We will rock you” pounded through my head from the stadium. The locker room was littered with equipment and pads. I just could not stand this nor believe it. I could not understand why I had to sit out in our first loss of the season with our team degenerating missing what I could do for them, not only was I injured but so was two lineman who couldn’t be replaced. I even had to sit out of my last game with our rivals, the Centerville Gators. Cheers to all the seasons of friendship and hardwork.