By Haley Adams
Being broken over and over again is hard. The past seven years of my life have been spent at the doctor’s office, trying to figure out why I would fall apart every time the doctors put me back together again, I was the real life Humpty Dumpty (eye roll)..
Although having a hip that was roughly as functional as a third nipple was utterly annoying and at the time seemed to wreck any cool plans I had for my athletic career, I honestly wouldn’t trade the experience for anything, except a unicorn, but we will address that when the opportunity presents itself.
I should probably elaborate here, I wasn’t actually “falling apart.” had I been you probably would have heard of me by now, I would be famous and probably be known as the living Mrs. Potato Head. My hip was just a little misshapen, it was square where it should be round and flat where it should be curved and ripped into tiny little pieces where it should be not ripped into little tiny pieces. But of course, for some reason, my first surgeon couldn’t figure that out and insisted I was faking it. Yes, doc, I am fake dislocating my hip, that’s a reasonable thing for a 14-year-old girl to do.
Soon doc #1, who is probably no longer in practice, decided I might not be faking, but he still didn’t know what was wrong. Long story short he did two surgeries to no avail, as did a second surgeon, and then we found my third surgeon. He did three surgeries, one of which consisted of breaking my pelvis into five pieces and then putting me back together again (back at it with the Humpty Dumpty jokes), except my doctor used screws as opposed to Elmer’s Glue and some Scotch Tape, but hey whatever works. All in all, here I am, 21 years old, seven hip surgeries, and a leg that looks like it got caught in a bear trap.
But, I still haven’t gotten to why I wouldn’t give those experiences for anything, and honestly typing about all of the surgeries and remembering how frustrating they were makes me ask myself this question even more, “Why the heck do I appreciate that experience?” I was miserable and angry and sad and heartbroken…”
Through this time period, I went from Division IV high school softball, to NAIA JV softball, to NCAA Division I softball and I feel like that’s pretty damn cool but the thing is I never made it in even a single regular season game at Ohio University because I was medically disqualified twice. My first disqualification came three months after I had transferred and walked-on my sophomore year, prior to my fifth hip surgery. After my sixth hip surgery my surgeons said I could give it another go and we appealed the DQ at the end of my junior year, only to be disqualified again the fall of the senior year prior to my seventh hip surgery. As you can guess, this is where the heartbreak set in.
My dream of playing for Ohio University was happening, I was a Division I softball player! But, then plans changed and I became a Division I injured reserve, permanent injured reserve. I wanted more than anything to just ask why, to figure out why, why me? Why now? Just, why. But I quickly realized I had to get myself together. This is exactly what people expected me to do; pout, cry, be sad, be upset, self loathe. But I’ve never really been one to do what others expected as far as being average. Just like Matt Birt didn’t expect me to actually lick the ball that had bird poop on it, people didn’t expect me to take my career ending (twice) well. So that’s just what I had to do. Anyways, if I focus as much on something new as I always did on softball, there’s no telling where I’m going.
This ride sure made me tougher, it made me stronger, it gave me experiences that most athletes will luckily never have to live through, and it made me who I am today. I mean surely there is a less expensive way to learn all of these lessons. So, if you’re looking for a life changing experience. Zero out of 10 people recommend my route. Nine of those people being my mother and the 10th being Gillian, my athletic trainer
At this point I’m rambling, but ultimately when one door closes, bust down a new one and get on your way, learn from the tough times, and embrace the suck. You can’t be mad at the world forever. It’s just a waste of time. I’ll keep my fingers crossed in hopes that you find a spirit animal that’s a little more intimidating than Humpty Dumpty.
This post was original posted on https://squatsandscrews.wordpress.com/2018/03/19/humpty-dumpty-is-my-spirit-animal/