“If the pain continues you may want to consider giving up water polo all together.” These are the words of a doctor I saw just a few days ago. Within the past month I have learned that I have two fractured vertebrae and a bulging disc in my back. The doctors don’t know how I got these fractures but all I know is they are irritating my nerves causing me immense pain in my lower back. Never in a million years did I think that I would have to give up sports all together. My parents raised me around sports growing up. It wasn’t until freshman year of high school that I really started getting into water polo. It was hard at the beginning but I eventually figured it out. Its what got me here to UCLA. And now, being only a second year on the team and finding out that my injury may take me out of the sport all together, I was just absolutely heart broken. Having someone tell you that you can’t do something is the worst feeling in the whole world. I literally didn’t know what to do. I had built my entire being around water polo and now in the blink of an eye it could be over. Since I have been five years old my sports have been apart of my life. All of my favorite memories as a child revolve around my sports teams. In high school water polo taught me how to manage my time, be a team player and gave me confidence. When I think about all the work I have put in to get me to where I am today I don’t think I can just throw that all away. Water polo defines my life; it has made me the person I am today. As I think about my future and the options I have for my back it really has made me appreciate everything. I know look at my athletic career differently. I have learned to appreciate all of the time and effort I have put in and all of the opportunities that have come from this experience.