Unexpected Events in an Unexpected World

Taking a look into my 2013 is filled with mixed emotions. It started out on New Years with me on a couch, asleep at midnight, in a knee brace with one of my best childhood friends. A knee brace is a lovely accessory that no one wants, but the doctor graciously handed to me after I blew out my knee playing volleyball during my first game of my senior year. Therefore, my 2013 was starting out with the words of the doctor in my head, "there is a big chance that you will not be playing volleyball again." Little did I know 2013 was the year of unexpected events.

The majority of 2013 was spent trying to prove the doctor wrong that I would in fact play in the 2013 volleyball season, and the other half was preparing myself if it did not happen. By the time summer rolled around the doctor was more hopeful. I was starting to run and jumping was in my near future. On the more professional side of things I was spending a summer in Colorado with my boyfriend, Weston, and his parents, while I worked an internship for a local baseball team. It turned out to be the best summer of my life. Having Weston by my side while I learned to jump again was an amazing experience that brought us closer together. He would take me on hikes to build my stamina, and in July I was hopping over fallen trees and jumping across streams in the Rocky Mountains.

Since I am from Missouri, it was a dream come true to be able to spend the summer in Colorado doing what I loved. I was the Public Relations Rep for the Fort Collins Foxes. I communicated with the local media outlets, made game day promotional videos, and wrote a press release after every game. It was an amazing experience.

One of the most unexpected parts of 2013 was that I was able to be a part of Weston's family. His family took me in as one of their own even though I was only Weston's girlfriend. Bonding with the family of the man I love is a beautiful thing.

Once the summer was over I became nervous for the start of preseason, and I had a right to be. It was two a day practices on a new knee. I felt like I was in fifth grade again learning how to play. Even though I did play some volleyball over the summer, I was still not where I needed to be to obtain my starting spot again. I mainly played defense all season until the very last regular season game. The team had been struggling to find another starting outside hitter, so when we played in my home town of St. Louis Missouri my coach gave me the shot at my starting spot. I had been preparing for that moment for over a year and I took it. For my coach I unexpectedly did amazing, for myself I knew I had it all along. The best part about it was I did it in front of my whole family, boyfriend, and old high school coach. We won that game to put us through to the conference tournament.

The conference tournament was one of my biggest accomplishments of the year. We were suppose to lose game one and go home, but we unexpectedly killed it. I was MVP of the game and was chosen to get interviewed after the game. The team was able to make it to the Conference tournament championship game and lost. However, winning those last three games did put us through to the National Tournament. My last game of competitive volleyball was in the first round of the National Tournament. I worked and never settled. I could of given up when the doctor told me I would never play again, but that wouldn't have been any fun.

I could not of done it without my amazing boyfriend, Weston, supporting me, or my friends and family cheering me on. Which brings me to the most important thing that happened to me in 2013. On December 27, 2013 I got on a plane to visit Weston and his family. Little did I know my parents, brother, and sister in law all got a plane to Colorado. They drove to Weston's parents household where twenty-five more friends and family members of Weston and I were waiting. They all came together for Weston to get down on one knee and ask me the question of a lifetime, "Will you Heather Lynn Hargadine Marry me." Weston and I do not have much in this world outside of school and sports, but what we do have and will always have is family. Which is why if I win the money, it will be going towards plane tickets for Weston and I to go to Colorado to see the birth of Weston's nephew. Life is too short to not celebrate and family is too valuable to lose. I unexpectedly was asked to enter an amazing loving family that I do not want to lose and since we go to school in Missouri we do miss family milestones in Colorado.

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