The Cardinal

After years of hard work and determination, Ashley Ventimiglia had climbed the ladder in the intense sport of running. She had endured extensive training year round to obtain her outstanding ability to run races in outstandingly fast times.

Little did she know, everything was about to change.

It was a warm summer day in August and Ashley was excited that cross country season was just beginning. With fall approaching leaves had started to fall from the trees as well as any summer fruits grown on them.

Halfway through a routine practice, Ashley encounters large, rolling hills with crab apples scattered along the ground that had freshly fallen from the trees. Focused on her run, she didn’t notice the fruits. An apple catches her stride and she sprains her ankle, rolling the rest of the way down the hill in pain.

After a trip to the hospital, she learns she will have to spend two weeks on crutches and another at least three weeks in recovery.

This was devastating to Ashley’s running career .Her times began to suffer and she began losing hope that she would ever be able to run the same times again.

She said, “After my injury, I really struggled physically and mentally to recover. It was hard got me to accept that I could no longer perform at the same level as I once could and the amount of time it would take to come back was very frustrating.”  

It took a lot of support from her family and friends to get Ashley to understand that the road to a full recovery was going to be long and difficult, and that it would take a lot of hard work to get back to the level she once was running at.

She said, “I’ve been working really hard every other night at the Watts and Tressel Center in Youngstown doing a lot of conditioning. I also have been lifting at the gym to boost my recovery.”

Even though Ashley knows there is a long road of comeback ahead, she believes she is able to reach the level she once was at.

Ashley Ventimiglia, Junior Contributor

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