A film that brings tears to your eyes . . .
Where the Red Fern Grows
Describe your first kiss.
My first kiss was more of a peck then a kiss so imagine a bird pecking at a tree.
Your favorite children’s book, and why . . .
… Harry Potter
A cause that’s closest to your heart, and why . . .
Kids because they are just starting out and have no clue what a big scary world is really out there.
If you could be a character in any novel, who would you be and why?
Percy Jackson from the lighting thief because to be a demigod would be amazing to have all that power when you need to use the powers to keep people safe
Explain the worst job that you’ve held.
McDonald’s nastiest place on earth
A quote that motivates you . . .
Get rich or die trying
The title of the one song you would take with you on that deserted island . . .
My first wish is money, second wish is to be a pro athlete and my third wish would be for more wishes.
Favorite game you played as a child . . .
baseball and hockey
What would you like readers to take away from your writing?
I want them to be able to put themselves in the reading
When one hears the word reconstruction, what does he or she think of? At first I thought of remodeling a house or fixing a building that has been damaged. When I heard my doctor tell me that I am having ACL reconstruction, I think my heart skipped a beat. Just wondering why this happened to me when I was at the top of both of my sports, baseball and hockey, was absolutely mind blowing. The doctor said I was going to have a rough nine months ahead of me. I had to wait till the doctor was free to schedule me for the surgery; then I had the whole rehabilitation process going to physical therapy four times a week, and then coming back to the two sports and relearning how to play them was probably the hardest part of it all.
I tore my ACL at the end of the hockey season of my junior year. Of course my dad and I being hard-heads, I tried playing through the pain. I ended up playing eight games on the torn ACL. I did not go to the doctor and had my knee checked out till the beginning of baseball season. The doctor did a bunch of tests on my knee and could not figure out why my knee was swollen like a water balloon. Finally he put my leg in a forty-five degree angle then pulled, and once again I found myself crying from all the pain that just hit me like running into a brick wall. He scheduled me for an MRI the next day and the results came back I had a torn ACL, bucket tear of the meniscus, torn mcl, and broken tibia. The doctor was booked from other surgeries all the way till April so I scheduled it the day after my prom so I could experience the best dance that I have been to in my life. The wait was a long month of watching my team play without me. The wait was not worth it; I was in so much pain after I did not want to walk again.
Two days after surgery, I had my first physical therapy ever. Barely walking and still afraid that I would blow out my knee again. I was then introduced to my physical therapist, Kelly; she was nice but she made sure that my shirt was drenched in sweat every time I left the building. I felt like I was at boot camp the whole time until I was introduced to my favorite machine, electric stem. This machine literally shocked me, but the shocking felt amazing. I laid on the table what felt like hours but was really only fifteen minutes. I started going four times a week dreading the workout that I was not used to but loving the electro stem at the end of every session. I started feeling no shock from the machine, as they would turn the machine all the way up as Kelly is wondering why I could not feel the shocking sensation. As my knee started to develop back to the amazing knee I had, I was able to do more and more moving. I worked all summer on rehabilitating my knee back to one hundred percent, finally able to start hitting baseballs again but not able to step on the ice yet.
The first time I stepped in the batting cage it looked as if I was lost. Before the knee injury I would step in the cage with no fear holding the bat as if I felt invincible; I felt as if the pitcher could not throw a pitch by me. I would step in the batter’s box, and I was able to hit the ball no matter where it was pitched. After rehabbing my knee, I found myself looking at strikes and swinging almost as if I was blind. Finally starting to have good contact on the ball I started to have my confidence back and I started becoming the former baseball player that I used to be. Now it was time to step back on the ice where I tore my ACL. Almost a year out, and I had no clue how the first skate would be. I took a few strides, and my knee was still holding strong. Scared to stop I felt like the person that played in the movie The Mighty Ducksthat had all the speed in the world but could not stop to save his life. I had a long road ahead of me to become the player that took me years to be in the first place. With all the work that I have already put into my knee, I knew that it was only a matter of time until I was back. Long hours of training took me to where I am now playing hockey for McKendree University. My baseball career did not keep going, but my hockey career became my life. I now had to focus on my future while I still had my childhood dream come true. I still had one of my sports while giving up the other for the education.
Finally coming back to the player that I was taught me that the only way to keep going was not to look back on the past but to look forward on the great achievements that will happen from hard work and the mindset that I was here for a reason. I had to reconstruct my whole life to become who I am now. The doctor had to reconstruct my knee, I had to go through the rehab, and finally figure out how to become someone that I was not anymore. With all the work that I have put in my knee, I learned that I will have to give one hundred percent from here on to keep my life going in the right direction.
By Austin McEwen
I play hockey for McKendree, and I also love writing.
“Excuse me, your fingers are resting in my drink,” is probably what I should have said when I observed with shock, intrigue, and finally uncontrollable laughter as the man seated in front of me at the baseball game was allowing his fingers to do the walking in my iced beverage. The afternoon heat was stifling even though my friend, the ticket purchaser, assured all of us girls that we were to be seated in the shade. Now that I think of it, I don’t believe shade exists at Busch Stadium. In all honestly, the imitation spanx I was wearing underneath my t-shirt was probably not helping matters in the temperature department. Anyway, the man one row ahead did the exaggerated yawn move and then stretched his arm across the back of his date’s shoulders. The problem herein is when he then let his fingers simply drop off the back of the chair. These fingers in question immediately found refuge in my salted- rim margarita to which I had only enjoyed two sips. What comes next is the intrigue. Instead of instant recognition of the error of his ways, he allowed his pointing and middle fingers to bask in the coolness of the pale-green liquid. My eyes were now glued to this finger-drama unfolding in front of me, and I was unable to turn away. After what seemed like minutes, he finally lifted his fingers from the scene of the crime only to rub his finger pads together- in an attempt to remove the salt- in my full line of vision. Sitting a little straighter in my seat awaiting an offer of a replacement drink (to which I would have waved away) or an apology at the least, he leaned close to the woman next to him and whispered into her ear. I don’t believe the verbiage in question included romantic overtures because both sets of shoulders in front of me began shaking. They were giggling like schoolkids at my thirst’s expense, and I was finding this behavior quite contagious. I then told the tale in a soft voice to my buddies on either side of me, and the laughter found root and spread.
Keeping in mind The Love Dare’s theme of Day 1, patience, I am so grateful this was in the back of my mind. Allowing events to unfold without interruptions resulted in an entertaining, unforgettable minuet.