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A Story Beyond the Limits

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A Story Beyond the Limits

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When I look at my life, I normally start to overthink my work ethic and my ability to achieve certain goals, accomplishments, or qualities. I go about my day in the way of thinking that others live as the way I do. I never think of what others may be struggling with in different areas that I have never witnessed in my life such as North Korea or even smaller states like Delaware. I start to live my life as an individual that maybe some would say takes their lives for granted; however, I didn’t realize I was one of those people until I had an incident during my sophomore season of volleyball.

Volleyball has always been the sport that I am capable of doing my absolute best without trying to compete with another player. As a member of a team, we compete against other schools, but that’s not what I mean. What I am saying is that volleyball was more than a sport to me. Volleyball gave me the opportunity to grow as an independent individual because my parents never played so they could only help at certain moments. They became normal parents in the stands; however, volleyball made me realized I should be thankful for my life, my family, and my abilities. My outlook on life changed during my sophomore season, and I grew as a person. I had taken a couple of spikes to the face in several games, and it had to be the most embarrassing thing I have ever been put through; however, the day I got my concussion I realized I was taking my life for granted.

I was told I was going to be out for a couple of weeks, and that was devastating news. I thought my volleyball career was finished. I thought my life was completely over. Most of all, I thought that if those were the last games I would ever play, then I should have tried way harder. I should’ve dived for the ball that was two or three feet away. I should’ve helped my teammate when she had fallen. Most of all, I should’ve been a better leader and a better player not only for my team but for myself. Before my incident, I took the sport I loved for granted. I never knew that one person could look back and believe himself when saying, “I could’ve tried harder.” However, for me, I did and I was embarrassed that I had done such things; therefore, once I got cleared, I started making steps into a bigger and brighter future.

I realized that my work ethic had fallen tremendously not because I wasn’t trying, but because my body had become weak from so much time off; however, whenever I was about to fall, my teammates picked me up before I hit the ground, and that was when reality hit me. I know volleyball is just a high school sport with a low priority, but it taught me that sometimes in life people think that just because they have it ‘so good’ that the fantasy won’t ever end. People are so quick to judge those that ‘over exaggerate’ their love for a game, friend, or hobby; however, when does anyone know when that one interest could get taken away within a blink of an eye.

Look at it this way; when you go to an amusement park, you don’t think that your ride would ever stop in the middle of a turn or when you are upside down. You depend on the amusement park to have its machines ready to go; however, the one time you think you shouldn’t be worried is the time you are going to get stuck upside down, similar to taking life for granted. Sometimes people get going so fast and start to do one specific thing that they never consider the day it could all be taken from them until it does. For me, when I dealt with the battle of not being able to touch a volleyball, I lost hope that I wouldn’t be able to finish out the season with my team. I realized that we take our prized possessions for granted, and we have to stop or one day when the one thing that keeps us going gets taken away, what do we do? Where do we go from there? How do we function without it?

These questions are not answerable, and in reality, these questions shouldn’t even be getting asked because if we took our lives for what they are worth, then we wouldn’t have to worry about the emptiness when something gets taken. All we would have to do is fill that certain void with another hobby or such so that the pain is bearable for the time being. Now, I am not here to lecture anyone on his life, but I am trying to paint a picture that maybe some could use for advice one day. When I received my concussion, I was unhappy because my teammates were able to play, but I had to sit on the bench and watch. Now, was my concussion something that set me back? No, not really because I didn’t lose my self-confidence. I didn’t lose my will to try to be better than I was before the incident. I didn’t lose my love for the game. I know I took my ability to play volleyball for granted, but that doesn’t mean I quit. All I had to do was try a little harder to be the best player I could be in every practice or game.

It’s crazy that just two years ago I was worrying about getting injured again; never once was I worrying about the last game I ever was going to play for my hometown school. I never would have thought the end of volleyball would take a toll on me, but it did. However, it also gave me a different perspective of life. When someone comes to the end of a chapter, it always is a sad day. You wish that you could reread it over and over again, but if you did, it would become boring. It wouldn’t bring any new challenges or new people in your life; therefore, that’s the reason why you begin the next chapter that follows the previous to find out what’s next, similar to life.

When volleyball ended for me, I was heartbroken because it was a part of me that I didn’t want to let go, but I knew that I had to. I knew that leaving volleyball in high school was a stepping stone I had to do to get to where I am standing today. I can’t relive my senior year over and over. I have to venture out in this crazy world to find volleyball somewhere else like Indiana State University.

Moral of the story, being set back my sophomore year from injuries to being able to only play one more game taught me that, in everyday life, we take the items that we think are their forever for granted. We say we are thankful for the life that we have received, yet we never act upon our words. We never play harder and harder in the next game knowing that it’s on its last stretch. We don’t write that extra paragraph because we think five is enough for now. We don’t do the things that are easy to do because we think that a certain effort is enough, and we will just ‘do better’ at the next game even though one day, there won’t be a next game. We don’t think about what we would do if our beloved hobbies did get taken away, and that’s the reason why we all should learn to leave the past behind, but don’t forget what it taught us. Live in the moment because our lives months or years from now maybe something completely different. Last but not least, prepare for the future because who knows what lies ahead of us.

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5 Comments

5 Responses to “A Story Beyond the Limits”

  1. Annie Daily on February 7th, 2019 11:21 am

    This is a really great story. I had a situation similar where in colorguard we got a new instructor and she made the sport something I didn’t look forward to at all anymore. I ended up quitting and I miss it, but it was for the best. I definitely took guard for granted while I was in it. I could really relate to your story, good job!

  2. Jon Emmons on February 7th, 2019 1:54 pm

    This is a great article, having a new instructor can be hard. It can pay off though good job.

  3. Emme Grisez on February 7th, 2019 2:03 pm

    I like how you can speak about experiences that had a big impact on your life. I also like how you can turn this into a life lesson, and you can look on the bright side.

  4. Alex Myers on February 8th, 2019 7:51 am

    Ashli this article gave me chills. I’ve experienced this similar situation with wrestling when I had mono last year. I took wrestling for granted before that, and now I wrestle every match as my last. I related to this article very well, great job Ash.

  5. Bill Isaacs on February 9th, 2019 3:44 pm

    Good article and great reflection. Thanks for sharing. Proud of you.

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Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
A Story Beyond the Limits