I walk up to the starting line, take a deep breath and hear the gun.
Before I even realize it, I’ve run the four fastest laps of my life. Immediately following the race, I’m embraced by my teammates and fans but don’t hear a word as I try to catch my breath and gather my bearings.
*24 hours later*
I walk out of the doctor’s office as this word keeps bouncing around within my own head, thinking to myself how? Why me? And just like that, I was a victim, a victim of mononucleosis, or so commonly know as mono.
The sport I learned to understand and love over 4 delicate years, was suddenly cut short, and I will forever recall my high school running career ending such a debacle.
As my recovery progressed, mentally I was in a state of digression. I didn’t understand this dubious soul that is mono; I was better. I was positive. I didn’t have a fever, no sore throat, and I swear I felt like a million bucks.
But of course, there is another level to this illness. For whatever reason mono had to compromise my spleen as well, creating a swollen, fragile organ that could burst at any moment. So even though I felt great, like any mother would do in the is situation, I stayed home under house arrest in order to avoid a medical emergency.
Since I no longer had to deal with how I felt physically, I tackled how I felt mentally, my state of mind. And at this very moment in time, I asked myself a question, a silly one on the surface, but one that completely changed my perspective.
What are the benefits of getting mono?
I realized as my eyes widened that is was the perfect time to get mono; it was during internships so I didn’t miss any school work or have to make up anything. Plus I was in the comfort of my own home. If I would have gotten it my freshman year of college, who would take care of me?
Then I thought about my second home on the track. I thought I had let the team down, but my vacancy opened up numerous opportunities and personal records that may not have been uncovered if I wasn’t sick.
Mono wasn’t what I expected to get, or what I ever wanted in my life, but it was vital to my recovery to look at it through a different light, and I hope this light will keep resonating with me as as I take on challenges in the next chapter of my life.