My time as an athlete was character-building and quite honestly some of the best years of my life. I fortunately never got severely injured and learned a great deal from magnificent coaches and encouraging teammates. Because I enjoyed the sport and became so proficient in my skills in a short time, I made volleyball my life. Game days are the highlight for any athlete, but I idolized the affirmation and praise I knew I would receive after the games on the sidelines. This inclination to people please led me to believe my volleyball skills created my worth. I no longer was living to play volleyball, I was performing to receive recognition after a game from strangers and friends to feed my ego. Throughout my freshmen year of college, I patterned my life around what my volleyball, athletic abilities could offer me. Blinded by my selfishness and pride, I had no idea I was taking my time as an athlete for granted. By the time sophomore year came around, I was determined to wipe out the “sophomore slump” in one fell sweep, but God had other plans for me. As I was attempting to prepare for a regular practice, I got the most unexpected, needed wound I will ever receive. I can still remember the irony of this moment. At the moment of injury, an athlete often thinks first of how this injury will affect their career, but to be honest, I thought more of what my “fans” would think of me. It was my sophomore year, I was supposed to prove myself again that it wasn’t just beginners luck. I had to show my team that I wasn’t just a girl who got lucky her freshmen year to start every game of the season. I feared losing friends, my athletic career, and the thing I held on to so tightly for all my worth–volleyball. Walking out of the training room that day with tears running down my cheeks, I had no idea how the Lord would step in and save me from a life of performance and striving for acceptance from anyone other than Himself. When I entered college as a student-athlete, I had no idea the triumphs and trials I would encounter would impact my life forever.
About the Filmmaker
Submitted by Megan McKinley
As a graduate student at Loyola University of Chicago, Megan is studying Digital Storytelling and Media in hopes to record the stories of individuals who pursue passions boldly, persevere beyond expectations, and inspire others to do the same.
Filmmaker’s Website: http://meganmckinley.org