They Call Me, Katniss

By February 1, 2017Inspiring Stories

They Call Me, Katniss

Everdeen that is; yes from the blockbuster.

By Teagan Johnson

Katniss and I look similar, but our biggest commonality is that archery saved me too!  Until a year ago, I was a volleyball player.  My whole identity, DSC_0100social life, and group of friends were wrapped up in this competitive sport….until I suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury on March 15, 2015 when my head hit the gym floor in a volleyball tournament.

“My life was changed forever”

In the ensuing 20 months, I lost my memory and consciousness often, and endured 12 hours of physical, speech, and occupational therapy per week to learn how to read again and regain strength on the whole right side of my body (all this from a severe blow to the head).  The neurologists said that volleyball and any other contact sports were out of the question.  I was distraught.  My parents recognized the need for me to get out of my depressive slump and the need for me to be a part of a team.  As a result, my Dad bought me a bow for my birthday.  I had never shot an arrow before, but was intrigued.

It turned out that the bonding time with my Dad was therapeutic for my emotional healing.

It also ignited a burning desire to compete again.  We practiced all summer long (in a wheel chair, a hip shooter, and then eventually just crutches – this time foot surgery from a horse accident – the angst I must cause my poor parents)!  In September I was ready to join our school’s brand new archery team.  I attend a small private school with 250 scholars; 40 of them signed-up for archery!  I was shocked and thrilled to know that this new team would be so popular – how exciting to be a part of a competitive team again where I could connect with like-minded teens.  Archery has helped me through my on-going struggles and recovery.  It has given me strength, confidence, and a new lease on life (and it’s awesome to beat the boys at their self-proclaimed sport).  I look forward to this life-long love affair.

Like Katniss, I too was saved by archery.

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From the staff
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