From a young age we are taught to play through the pain… That you’re not hurt unless you’re visibly broken, in a cast, or crutches… Sometimes a brace can do the trick and keep you out there. Or that you’re letting the team down if you need to sit out.

Having gone through that, I wish I could go back and give hurt Laura a hug and tell her these things:

Listen to your body and advocate for yourself if you are hurting

I’m not saying that you need to make a fuss about every bandaid you might need. However, speak up if you are in pain. Sometimes catching issues early on can put you in a better position than not.

Your sport is temporary and there are many great things that will come your way when your time is finished

This one has been hitting home lately – I’ve had to find ways outside of volleyball that bring me joy. This can be anything. Sitting outside with friends, shopping, connecting with others in your community.

It’s okay to ask for help

After surgery I had to swallow the pill that I would need more help with simple, every day tasks. I hate feeling like a burden to others, but I had to realize that I needed their help and sometimes people don’t know how to help. So ask for it.

Lean on others and willingly hear their advice

Izzy and Grace, my comeback queens, have been through it. I never wanted to compare injuries, but rather hear their perspective on different things and cheer each other on.

For some time, all three of us had physical therapy at the same time, same place and it was encouraging to see the others progress & get cleared for new activities!

When good things happen, hold onto them

Simply stated, if you only see the negative when going through an injury you’re going to be sad…

Is your coffee extra tasty today? Pass a test? Get cleared for a new movement? CELEBRATE IT and hold onto it! Even when it might feel like no one notices your little wins, YOU DO!