I began playing volleyball year-round starting in middle school. I took much joy in the sport, partly because I realized that it was a way to express God-given qualities. Often I prayed before a practice or tournament to feel close to God, who gave me all I needed to play well and be a good teammate.
During my first travel season, a teammate’s dad pulled me aside after practice and asked what ankle-strengthening exercises I did. He said he had seen me roll my ankle while landing from a jump, but I just kept playing as if nothing had happened. He had expected me to be injured because his daughter had been after she’d rolled her ankle. She now wore ankle braces on both legs and was fearful of reinjury.
I told him that I often rolled my ankle without any ill effect, but I wasn’t sure why. It didn’t occur to me at the time that my prayers and the awareness of my relationship to God were protecting me.