Jan 11
nonfiction challenge: Hardship
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Football hardship

In 2020, many were surprised to find out that a fall football season would be happening, me included. I saw the high school football team working out together while I was on a walk with my parents and dog. I began to reminisce of the day when I used to play football back in 3rd and 4th grade. I had to stop because my parents were afraid I would get a concussion or get severely hurt. After a little bit of conversation with my parents we decided to go over and talk to the coaches. I told them about how I used to play many years ago and that I’ve missed it a lot. The coaches then told us some surprising information. They told us this season, due to covid would be tag football only. This gave me a chance to finally play football after all these years. I discussed it with my parents and told the coaches I would be at the next practice.

A couple weeks of practice would go by before the real season would officially start and when it did, the training got harder. We would slowly build our skills as time went on. I found out very quickly that I was not good at catching and I needed to work on it as well as get gloves. This got very frustrating but I worked through it on my own time as well as at practice. I eventually got to the point where I was decent at catching. This made me very happy and I felt like a real football player. All was well until one day at practice I got injured pretty badly. We were running a scrimmage when the ball was thrown and it went right through the receiver's hands. I was standing right behind the receiver when the ball hit my thumb in the opposite direction it is supposed to bend. This tore every ligament and muscle in my thumb. I really thought that I had broken it, that's how bad it was. I wasn't able to move it and we were thinking about getting it X-rayed. I thought my comeback to football was over already. 

My dad soon examined it and decided it wasn't broken so I had to get a thumb brace in order to do anything without the pain killing me. After many hours of icing over the span of a weekend my thumb started to feel somewhat better before the practice on the following Monday. As soon as practice started I realized I couldn’t do half of the training I could do before, I especially couldn’t flip tires. I had to come up with compromises in order to not be a slacker, one of which being running a mile around the track while the other boys flipped tires. This was also just warm up for practice so the real work hadn’t even begun yet.

As soon as route practice would start my thumb would pulse with pain. I realized that this injury would be a struggle throughout this whole season. I would have to look up ways to strengthen it and heal it at the same time because practice and the season was not slowing down anytime soon. This was incredibly painful for me at times and really affected my performance. It really got me down, especially because my parents didn’t want me to play football again for this exact reason.

Not everything about this injury was bad though. I was able to discover that I am really good at defense because of my speed and how high I can jump. I made it through the season and over the next few months my thumb fully healed back to normal. I have since then played tackle football in the 2021 season as a starter on both offense and defense every game. It seems that my thumb injury or my hardship in other words paid off in the end.
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