The Seabury Tides

local stories by student journalists

The Seabury Tides

The Seabury Tides

Harnessing Pain for Prosperity

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A drizzle was falling outside, on a cold winter morning. Christmas break had just begun, and I could hear the laughter of my friends and the crisp striking of a ball going on in the background as I approached the park bathroom. A heavy feeling rushed over me and tears of anger and frustration quickly flooded my eyes. As I stared at myself through the mirror, the reflection looking back at me was no longer the person that I once recognized.

Before my knee injury, which included a lateral meniscus tear and four surgeries following a soccer a game, I would crave days like these; no one else but us on the field, rain soaking our shirts and coating the grass, and no problems besides desperately gasping for air after an intensive session with some of my closest friends. Now, I am forced to retreat from the action, unable to contain my frustration towards my new reality, and unwilling to show it in front of people who once viewed me as unbreakable. 

As the months passed, my frustration and confusion only intensified. Feelings of hatred towards the universe and myself filled my mind, and from my perspective, I lost more than half of who I was. I could not accept the circumstances that I was in, and the events that I had gone through. I was trying to grasp onto the lost person that I once was, but was no longer there. In return, I was ultimately a person that was not. I had no future ahead, as I was looking to the past for all the old answers of a new test, instead of creating a new path for myself based on the challenges that I had endured.

Unfortunately, I was no longer the same person I was for the past 16 years of my life, and it took a long time for me to understand this. I constantly tried to jump back into my old life, without having the compassion for myself to understand that I had a major event happen in my life. And because this performance on the soccer field was my only metric of success, I was failing. I could not see the potential success I could have had in other endeavors and didn’t try much else.

Junior James Notarangelo speaks about how he overcame a knee injury and multiple surgeries that took him away from the sport/active life style he loves at Seabury Hall’s TEDx Youth event.

Only once I realized that I could not dictate the things that were out of my control, did I truly begin to hone in on the things that I could control. Leg muscles weren’t feeling 100% yet? Good, complete over 1,000 pull-ups. Elbow was swollen from the extreme volume? Everything hurts? Good, take a 40-degree cold plunge or go into a 190-degree sauna. I began to understand that no matter what happened to me in my life, no one could take away who I was. And it took me a while to understand who I am. 

I’m a man who loves to do hard things.

I’m that guy who you will see training in the pouring rain and heavy winds. I’m that guy who you will see running in the scorching sun. I’m that guy who will complete every task expected of him before the deadline. Every miserable situation that you run away from, I run head first into, smiling. I do not live the healthiest life and I do not advise others to live the way that I live, but to me, unless it could kill me, every hard situation is just a chance to test, prove, and better myself.

Though from time to time, I still do curse this injury and the situation that I was placed in, and that will never change. I understand the blessings that it has revealed to me, and would be in a very different position than I am in my life. Who knows if it would have been a better place, but all I can say now is I am a much stronger and self-aware person with this obstacle.


Guest writer James Notarangelo, a rising senior at Seabury Hall, has recently created a podcast called The Unbreakables, where he speaks to highly accomplished people about their perspectives, lives, and own personal struggles and how they have overcome them, with the aspiration to inspire anyone going through a tough time, or anyone curious about important lessons they can learn, think about, and apply to their life. For his first episode, he spoke to Seabury Hall physics teacher, Dr. Steven Baker. Check it out here, and let him know what you think.

Works Cited:,be%20seen%20for%20student%2Dathletes.,psychologist%20with%20Henry%20Ford%20Health


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