Slone stops balls, nothing stops Slone
September 13, 2012 Leave a comment
by Cory Collins
First-year Joshua Slone never had time to combat the lax-bro stereotype. He was too busy combating his own body.
His freshman year of high school, he started losing weight. Food wouldn’t stay down. He was weak. A trip to the hospital. An emergency surgery. Whispers of a cyst in his back.
The surgery failed.
So they tried again. They discovered a pancreas so swollen it was blocking his stomach; his small intestines were destroyed.
He’d eventually be diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis – an infliction plaguing his family’s history. For two to three years, he’d fight weakness, constant nausea and immense pain.
But he never stopped playing lacrosse.
Slone had seen the game on TV; he’d met his match. Despite living in Shelbyville, he traveled to play. He played his freshman year in Oldham County and the next two at Lafayette High School. Nothing stood in his way – not the miles, nor the pain.
Also a wrestler and football player, each day of the school year meant a practice or game. The pain never took a day off either.
“I hurt every day,” Slone says. “The pain, I’ve been told, is about the same as childbirth. I lived on pain medicine. I had to get in the bathtub a lot. After school and practice, it was pretty much straight home to try to subdue the pain just a little bit.”
But he never stopped playing lacrosse. Until he had to.
As his senior year approached, Slone received bad news. Lafayette’s team was switching to a school-system. He didn’t go there. He couldn’t play.
And neither could his body. The day he scheduled to meet with Lafayette’s principal, he passed out. His blood level was decimal points from heart failure. The first diagnosis was ulcers. The final diagnosis was chronic pancreatitis, another surgery, a lost season.
“It was a blessing in disguise,” Slone now admits. The year away from contact sports gave his body a chance to heal. He lost lacrosse, but he gained his strength. It’s what he calls a “win-lose situation.”
Above all, he learned that no matter how weak his stomach, he had the heart of a champion. At first, he admits, staying in shape was “a battle to stay motivated.” Off the field, he continued to compete and rediscovered his passion.
“I wanted to prove to myself that I could do anything,” Slone said.
And here he stands, a young man with a solid chance to be Transylvania’s first lacrosse goalie. And even standing in the net, Slone is not without his own goals: to “beat Centre”, “stay healthy” and, something more grandiose, “ I want to help this be a competitive program, especially by my senior year. I want to compete for a conference championship and play in the NCAA tournament.”
Slone isn’t a “lax-bro”. He’s a fighter and he’s proof that a man’s heart isn’t in his stomach – but instead, in his actions.