“7 months ago in a college showcase soccer tournament I received my 8th concussion. I got knocked out, and by the time I woke up, I did not realize how much that hit would alter my life.
I’ve been playing very high level soccer from the time I was 5 years old. I made several elite teams including the Olympic Development Program (ODP) state team, ODP Region 1 team, and an academy club team ranked 3rd in the country. I was planning to play Division 1 soccer, and planned to commit in March (a month after the concussion occurred).
As of today (7 months later), I finally was cleared to engage in sports again. Although, I am ineligible to play any contact sports, especially soccer. Soccer was my entire life, I ate slept dreamt soccer. Throughout my life, I’ve constantly identified myself as a soccer player. Starting tomorrow, I am rowing in my first ever crew practice with my school’s program.
Having your dreams crushed and being told you are unable to do something you love at such a young age was very hard. I lost my sense of identity and didn’t know what to do with myself, but with the support of my friends, family, and teammates I was able to transition to the crew team. I never thought there would be a day where I wasn’t playing soccer, but now I’m excited for the future.
Head injuries are an extremely hard obstacle to overcome in life, but with the help of your loved ones, good doctors and therapists, and constantly pushing yourself to do your best, it is possible to conquer!”
-Carly, TBI Survivor