Crushed by Pandora’s Box

Kevin Fong, Editor-in-Chief

What’s it like to have your dreams crushed?

With recent personal experience, I can report it’s even more terrible than it sounds.

Of all the emotions of which humans are capable, none are as powerful as hope. Hatred can fuel the dark side and love is mighty as well, but it is ultimately hope that drags our souls along. It is hope that our lover is still alive even though there’s a vicious dragon guarding her, hope that our enemies will fall under our blade, and hope that everything we want to happen will come true.

Hope is the core of the human condition. It’s that little light at the end of the tunnel saying “everything will be okay; everything will turn out just fine if you just keep plugging along.”

It draws us through the dark times and it is reinforced by the good times. Hoping that everything will work out in the end is what keeps us going when we have almost given up. Hope assures us that everything will be okay as long as we don’t give in. Keep walking toward the light and eventually your dreams will be realized.

Hope keeps us positive. It helps us keep our eyes on the good parts of life. Despite any hard obstacle or challenge we face, we get through it with hope guiding the way. Only one tiny little ounce of hope will keep someone persisting even if it’s so dim the light is barely seen in the pitch black.

Back to my introductory question. Having dreams crushed is not an everyday occurrence. It’s not every day that someone feels like they have to restart their life. It’s a life changing experience. It’s not like a button can be pressed and everything rewinds to the way it was. Nope, life is an endless video cassette with no previous chapter button.

How do I know? I know because my own dreams were recently crushed.

To be able to understand why I was destroyed, I have to start at the beginning. When I entered high school as a freshman I knew very few people. In an effort to make friends, I joined the cross country team. There I found many people like myself, and I became very close to them. But soon cross country became more than just a friend machine. It became practically my whole life. I lived for each practice and run, and my competitiveness grew.

As a sophomore, I realized that in a year I wanted to be on varsity. I wanted to run NCS and State, and I wanted my team to win. Despite a calf pull injury that year, I did it. I worked hard and earned a spot on the varsity squad my junior year. I ran NCS and State that year, but I didn’t accomplish what I wanted. I left the season unsatisfied, aching for the next chance to push myself to the brink. From that moment, I began to look forward to when I could run again at those meets and show of what I’m truly capable.

North Coast and State. Those two meets were all that I looked forward to; I set goals for myself and I did everything in my power to work my way towards them.

Alas, fate had different plans for me. I had foot pain since the second DFAL league meet on October 24, and still had it as the DFAL championships loomed ahead. I did what I could to ease the pain, and I took a few days off to prepare for the championships. However, it wasn’t enough.  At the beginning of the race I felt a snap.  But the gun had sounded and I ran the race. I couldn’t really walk after I finished, so I went to see a doctor a few days after.

There’s a reason why a surgeon has to say definitively that a patient has died to the patient’s family. Otherwise, they’ll have hope that tells them it’s not true. And that’s what I felt when my doctor showed me an x ray of my foot with a fractured bone, a clearly snapped metatarsal. I didn’t believe that my season was over; I couldn’t believe that my season was over. And it wasn’t. Until he finally said that I was done with running.

Yet even after a fire has been extinguished, its embers still glow ready to ignite again.