Special thank you to U.K. athlete, photographer and beautiful person Klare Wolf for allowing us to take this journey with her!
Klare is writing this story, with much prodding by myself and with great apprehension; always consternation and I dare say moments of dread. You will learn that she is not talking about moments long past, these are not scars well healed by time, she is living the story she tells daily, while she is sharing it will all of us. Personally I think this takes amazing courage and I hope you’ll honor her by following her tale as it unfolds. She truly deserves your support. Stumbling Otis– TTS content manager
Volume 1- The Fall
The fourth quarter had been called – overtime added.
Time to end this.
The play began.
The ball moving fast, the defense being smashed by the home team.
Shot taken… Missed.
A player goes in for a rebound… The ball is played out.
Teammate receives – plays across court.
The ball is intercepted by opposing team and launched across the quarter.
A home team player races for the ball. Running flat out – jumps – catches –
CRUNCH. SNAP. PAIN.
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That player was me, Klare Wolf and this is my story.
My story of happiness turned to pain.
My story of heartache, an emotional hurt only matched by physical agony; it is about hitting rock bottom and climbing back toward possible redemption. First however, it is a story that must return to the beginning, together we must fall to understand how this crazy journey begins.
I’ve always been a curious person, still am. I’m a fan of learning how things works and I’m always getting into stuff. As a kid I wasn’t your typical girly girl.
I was quite happy kicking a ball about with the lads. Climbing trees, sweating through tag and getting down and dirty, bruised, banged, scraped and cut. I was a typical tomboy.
Even as a child the great outdoors appealed so much more to me than anything ever has – My mother literally could not keep me inside.
It still draws me and I’m at my happiest when I’m outside or doing sport.
I am lost to everything beside those fleeting seconds of competition, or outside.
Under the sunshine, breeze in my hair, the smell of Earth and grass is like freedom.
Then I am competing – basketball, field hockey or sport climbing I find that zone of my mind where time slows, the seconds move like weeks, nothing matters but the motion of that very second– that is my joy.
I’ve played a variety of sports but my biggest passion throughout my life was basketball – I played from high school up to a national level here in the United Kingdom.
I have 10+ years of pounding boards under my belt.
Countless hours training plus game time. Watching film, visualizing plays.
Traveling throughout England.
Trophies, awards, medals, badges and commendations adorned my walls, cabinets and clothing ranging from West Sussex County Champions to Inter School Winners – 5 years in a row. District Champs and School Champs.
Advancing past school sports- I worked hard for my position of Forward Guard. I was small so the forward position suited me quite well. Versatility and speed was key due to the nature of the role, and I loved moving the ball quick and intercepting it. Which was my biggest strength. I’d get it and feed it out to a shooter and SWOSH. Basket landed. Eventually I was chosen for a touring league- I become an Amazon.
I mention my youth, I state some of my athletic history because I want you to understand I was no hobbyist, my entire being including my happiness was defined by the prowess and power of my body.
We all have things we turn to in times of need, sport was that in my life.
Sports been one of the constants in my life. It was there when I had issues with family and life got tough.
It was my escape, to be on the court or the field hockey pitch.
Then I blew BOTH my Achilles tendons!
It was January 24th, 2011 – 8:13pm.
That was the night that changed my life as I knew it.
Four years ago my life was happy and active. Then, in a split second it was shattered and gone.
Over twenty years of sporting life, my identity as defined by me was torn and ripped right from my very grasp.
On to the court I had crumbled.
I felt so deflated, Worthless, defeated and let down.
Laying on the floor. I didn’t move.
It hurt so much it almost ceased to feel like anything at all. Pain that burned through pain it this blinding nothingness.
I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t communicate. I just lay there—in shock, in this still purgatory of heartbeats.
My team mates came rushing over, gathered round me and just peered over me with shocked faces.
It was the blood I saw first where I’d split my knee on the court.
It was trickling down my leg and dripping onto the floor.
I wasn’t sure if I should hold my knee or grab my ankle.
Questions were being fired at me but I couldn’t answer.
I felt sick by now and all I remember was the opposing player with whom I’d collided trying to apologize.
I’d intercepted the ball, I was running flat out to breach the gap before the visiting team player received the pass thus gaining an advantage. I jumped up and caught the ball but as I came down – the other player was still in motion.
I landed – one foot square on the floor. The other, my right – on the opposing players foot and I went right over. CRUNCH. SNAP. Loud like gunshots in a closet.
I collapsed hard, awkwardly and instantly like I’d taken a sniper’s bullet.
I just rolled around on the floor – gasping for air. The sheer pain is pretty much harder to explain than anything I’ve been asked to describe before.
I was helped off the court by two team mates and stuck on a bench as they rallied round trying to find ice and something to mop up blood.
By this point the severity of the injury was clear.
I had this unusual, let’s say flexibility in my ankle and things sticking out where they shouldn’t.
So. Off to the hospital.
Upon examination it was found my tendon had nearly gone bare of thread and I’d also dislocated my ankle and broken two of the small bones in my foot. Plus ligament damage.
In the hospital, during the exam I didn’t care what the staff did, said, I just wanted the pain to stop.
It was past 01.30 on Tuesday morning, five hours after the injury before I realized I could no longer feel anything.
My foot was a hideous sight and going a variety of grotesque colors.
Swollen and disfigured…
And that was just my body…
(My only consolation at the time, we won the game!)
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