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  • Writer's pictureKristen Bujnowski

Growth and Gratitude

When I was in university, yurning to long jump to the best of my abilities but learning to jump off my non-dominant leg I would test myself. I would randomly think my left leg was feeling good, take a few jumps, feel okay, then take just one more and suddenly the pain was just as bad as before. I would instantly feel pain and swelling and pressure. My knee range of motion would go down and it would be about a week before I could go back to training fully. And of course, I would cry. Cry because of the pain, cry because I needed to take time off training and cry because it had been years of this and it was never going to get better.

Yesterday I was training at the CSI Ontario and some members of the men’s beach volleyball team were doing some testing one leg take off vertical jump testing. They challenged me to join. I didn’t even think about my knee. It had been over a year since I have had a flare up. After a few jumps they told me the next level would be like hitting a rim on a basketball net, of course I had to try to hit it. And just like that, in one jump, I was taken back to the pain I used to experience all the time in university.

There weren’t any tears this time though. I am annoyed, sure. And I will probably have to take it easy for a few days, which I am never a fan of. But mostly I am grateful. Grateful I found a sport that doesn’t hurt my knee. Grateful for a coach who modifies my training so I don’t do exercises that risk me hurting my knee. It’s a quick reminder that even if I wanted to, I couldn’t make a return to long jump. That the surgeons were right, I really did need to find another sport.

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