Nothing in this world means more to me than my family. My mother, father, brother, grandfather, grandmother, aunt and of course my dog. 2014 has been one of the most challenging years for my family, there is no doubt about that. What is remarkable is the strength and resilience my family has shown.
My father is the glue that holds my family together. He is my hero, my friend and my biggest role model in life. On March 5, 2014 we almost lost him. My father went into surgery to get his hip replaced, the thought of him not making it out of surgery never even crossed my mind, until his heart stopped in the midst of surgery. I've always looked up to my father; he is patient, brave, intelligent, witty and one of the kindest people you will ever meet. This was the first time in a long time that I was rudely awakened by the fact that my father is not invincible and that is one of the scariest things to imagine.
All my accomplishments and struggles my father has been right behind me, supporting me and encouraging me. He would wake up with me at 5 a.m. on a Sunday and drive me to my volleyball tournaments. He spent hours with me in the front yard practicing pop ups and ground balls, and even more time practicing my jump shot. My love for sports; playing and watching, comes from him.
There is nothing in the world I love more than playing volleyball, but my junior year of high school I was cut from the varsity team. I was absolutely devastated; all the hours of hard work, the days spent at off-season tournaments and money spent on summer camps seemed to be wasted. If I didn't have my dad I probably would have given up on playing volleyball. My father reminded me that it wasn't the end of the world and he encouraged me to play in the off-season. Not playing on a team gave me the opportunity to coach. My senior year I helped coach the West Springfield High School Girls Volleyball team, something I never would have had the chance to do if I hadn't been cut, and something I wouldn't have even considered if my dad didn't encourage me to not give up on the sport I love.