My name is Brooke Bollinger and I will be a redshirt sophomore on the soccer team at Florida State. A year and a half before arriving at FSU, I landed on my right shoulder in an unusual position during training and immediately felt that something wasn’t right. After meeting with the doctor, I found out I had torn my labrum. I rehabbed for five months hoping that I would be fine without surgery. Within the first month of coming back, I could feel that my shoulder still wasn’t right. I decided to have surgery and I rehabbed for the next six months. During the long rehab process I struggled mentally without having soccer in my daily routine. Since I wasn’t busy traveling for training and competitions, I took the time to really appreciate being home and cherishing the moments with my family and friends. I eventually returned to my full strength and abilities on the soccer field.
During this past season in the ACC final, a ball was crossed in and I dove backwards to keep it from going in the goal. I landed on my elbow and felt a very familiar pain, but this time in my left shoulder. I knew right away what had happened and I struggled thinking about going through the whole process of surgery and rehab again. I supported my team through the rest of the National Championship season and got surgery soon after. I knew since I had come back stronger from my right shoulder injury, I could do the same with my left. Going through the recovery process twice has definitely made me stronger and has heightened my work ethic and desire to reach my goals. The love and guidance I received from my family, friends, and teammates kept me positive when times got difficult. I am so grateful for the support from my family and all the people surrounding me every day at Florida State who are helping me return to full strength and take on the 2019 season.