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The LEAP Student Blog

Jade Chamberlin Connell HS | "Courage Takes Time"

Author: Jade Chamberlin
Grade: Junior
School: Connell High School
Mascot: Eagles
League: SCAC East
Classification: 1A

"Courage Takes Time"

I never thought I’d be one of them. Yes, I am accident prone, but never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined I would tear my ACL. What I figured to be an ordinary Saturday practice actually became the day my life stopped.

Freshman year sports went great for me. I was starting varsity on the soccer team and went to State track in the 4x100 relay. When sophomore year rolled around, I expected nothing different. But instead, I spent my sixth day of soccer practice colliding with two other girls, hearing a loud pop, and landing on the ground. As much as I hated to admit I had been hurt, I forced myself to come to terms with this setback.

One tends to feel like less of an athlete when they’re injured. While looking at the outside in, most people will see the person getting stronger and slowly becoming the athlete they once were. But what most fail to recognize is the mental and emotional upset that the athlete is going through.  No matter how you picture it in your head to be, it’s not even slightly understandable until you experience it for yourself. That, I wish upon no one.


End of August and I am lying on the corner of the soccer field. Subconsciously remembering every step being taken, every word being said, and every glance I’m being shot with, not realizing that 12 months later it would take every ounce of courage I had to step back onto the field.

Mid-September and I’m told that my ACL is completely torn and I wouldn’t be physically active for many months.

October 7th and I’m out of the operating room, loopy and craving breadsticks, longing to walk on my own.

I forced myself out of crutches after two weeks. It took serious guts to walk down a high school hallway during passing time without my usual protection of crutches. Fear clouds judgment, as I’ve learned, and it consumes a person in ways unimaginable. The thought of being in one wrong place at one wrong time and getting hurt was too terrifying to picture.

Four months after surgery I was at physical therapy when the therapist said, “We are going to start you differently today,” I remember intently looking at him, hoping that the next few words that were going to come out of his mouth were what I had been waiting so long for. “I want you to run.”

That day was one of the best days of my life. I had no idea what it meant to be truly proud of myself until I had overcome something so difficult and frightening. After seven months of physical therapy, I spent the next three months in summer training multiple days a week with a personal trainer to get back skills I had and more. August came around faster than I could digest and before I knew it, I was ready to go back to the sport I loved.

August 22nd, the first day of junior year soccer and I’m sitting in my car at the soccer field debating on whether I should get out or not. Ten minutes later, after a long mental debate and a two-minute motivational speech from a long-distance friend, I crawled out of the safety of my car and met the rest of the girls getting ready.

“She’s back.”

Anxiety is a terrible thing to overcome, and doing that this season was a struggle. The girls on the soccer team accepted me with open arms. I regained my starting position on varsity like I had never left. I fought anxiety every practice and every game. Games that were so physical and I wasn’t ready for had me on the side lines where the girls would wipe away my tears of fear, and push me to go on. Not just for the team, but for myself. To prove to myself that I was just as good, if not an even better athlete than I was the year before. Soon enough, setting foot on the field became easier and easier and my fear of contact lessened while my motivation to play only grew.

From: Mrs. McGary 11/1/2016 3:14 pm

You are motivating and refreshingly honest about the hard road back. It will set a precedent for your life. Nothing can keep you down. We are so proud to have you as a student at CHS. You are a great example of grit and determination. Well done!!!

From: gail kaiser 11/1/2016 6:38 pm

We are so proud of you Jade, and you did a excellent job of describing what it took to come back to where you are now. Love you, Grandma & Grandpa K.

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November 2016

11/17/2016 Jordan Oakes Holy Names Academy | "What Motivates Me"
11/1/2016 Jade Chamberlin Connell HS | "Courage Takes Time"

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