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It’s been a LONG time since I have made a post, but I did not know to word how much my life has changed. Always depending on basketball, I could never picture my life without it, and here God took the one thing that I couldn’t imagine living without. It was like God was rebuilding me to see all the things I could do without a ball in my hands, but also showing me who stuck around not because of my ability on the basketball court, but because they saw what God has manifested within me towards life. So in many ways when people say that my injury is a setback or roadblock, I think differently because it is my breakthrough. It is the next step in my growth and I couldn’t figure out my purpose in life, if all I thought I was capable of doing was a dribbling a basketball. I couldn’t move to the next chapter of my life if I kept holding on to my past. Knowing I have a solid support system, embarking on this new chapter of my life, I am able to come out of my comfort zone with the help of my family and friends. Although I am thankful for their support, a lot of the work that I need to do is within me and it’s funny because anyone that really knows me, knows I like to go at my own pace, but we all know that life waits for no one. I also find it funny how God gets your attention, even if you don’t want it. For me it was like God was opening doors for me that I necessarily did not want to go through. Sometimes facing reality is a hard truth, because we want the reward but we don’t want the process. It’s funny because sometimes God says wait and no one wants to wait. It’s hard to have patience but sometimes God has to prune us and prepare us, to make sure that when we grow we grow right, so that we can be strong and stable.
When people finish reading my post, the last thing I want them to say is she is strong or she is wise. I just want them to feel encouraged because what is more powerful than empowering someone else to take steps in directions that they never imagined? I know where all the power essentially comes from, but what is more powerful that being encouraged to accomplish those tasks that he may put in front of us. Nothing is unobtainable if you have the faith and trust that there is a greater purpose in everything that you do. It took me a couple of falls for me to get that faith and I am currently working on that trust, but more than anything I believe that there is someone looking out for me above the sky, so it reassures my faith that I am protected, I just need to handle the task at hand in becoming fully healthy not just physically, but also emotionally. I am currently taking a leadership class and one quote that has stuck with me from it was by Marianne Williamson and she said, “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.” Till today I never fully understood it, but I couldn’t agree with her any more. My biggest fear is not hurting my knee, my biggest fear is discovering more about myself and it’s scary to think about how strong God knows I am. For the longest time I use to think strength was how long you can hold in something and I am starting to learn that strength is about letting go. It’s easy to hold things in, but to release and confront shows growth and you don’t become strong overnight, you grow to become strong. It has taken me a long time to get to where I am at today and I lost a lot of hope along the way, but to see where I currently am I can’t think of anything to explain where I am at emotionally , mentally , physically , and even spiritually but the presence of God. It’s so funny because something that could be look so ugly to some is starting to become the best thing that has ever happened to me. I just know when I fall down to my knees now, that they both are prepared to support me in whatever God wants to throw at me.
What a week! I meant to make this post last Friday, but with trying to catch up with my academics and the past two games with the team, I have been busy. With my surgery being last Friday, it has been one long week, but to see how many strides I have made in just seven days is shocking to myself. The things that I am able to do now at a week out, took me at least 2 months to do with my last ACL surgery. With my first week after surgery coming to a close, I can definitely say it has been a lot easier the second time around. Every obstacle God has put me through till now has prepared me to conquer this task at hand. As of right now, I am stronger than I have ever been, my faith in God is at an all-time high, the love I have received from my friends and family have emotionally supported the high spirits that I already have.
Sometimes I wonder what I am going to get out of this period in my life. I mean, I know I get another year to get my fifth year in college, another year to attend school at one of the best universities in America, get to play for the best head and assistant coaches in the country, while also getting another year to play in front of the best fans in America! But I do believe there is a deeper meaning to why I am going through this all over again. Everything happens for a reason and for a reason everything happens. My first ACL injury taught me to believe in God and have faith that everything will work out for the best. And I know it is only been a week, but I am excited to see what life lessons I will encounter this time around.
I recently have been having a lot of problems with my hip. It is said that when you have ACL surgery that typical problem areas are your ankles and hips just because it’s compensating for the lack of strength supporting your leg. Since I cannot walk properly my recent pain in my hip has made it hard to walk, sit down, and even sleep. To compensate for the pain in my hip, I would comfort it by rolling over and resting on my other hip or just putting ice on it. I will continue to have pain in my hip until I build my flexibility and strengthen my leg. But I compare the pain in my hip to a personal experience in my life. As I have previously mentioned in past post, I am the type of person that keeps a lot of stuff to myself and although I am only 18 years old I have experienced a good amount in my life. For years I have bottled away a lot of pain, frustration, tears, and fears going all the way back to my childhood. Basketball was my vent and comfort and in the process it has turned out to be my best friend because it was my way to cope with anything going on in my life. I could always depend on basketball, regardless of any situation. As I look at the pain in my hip, I compare it to the bottled up experiences in my life because of how I am coping with it. As many times as I would roll over to my other hip or put ice on it, it TEMPORARILY gave me comfort just like when I would resort to basketball to comfort myself. Temporarily it made me feel, good but it did not fix the problem that was at hand. It is okay, that I ice my hip to make it feel good, but looking at the bigger picture I know this problem will only be fixed once I strengthen my leg. Just like in my life, the pain, and frustration that I have suppressed for years is still there regardless of how much I temporarily comfort myself to ignore all the pain I have endured. Just like I expected this injury has made me take a second look at my life and a bible verse that my dad always told me was, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” So instead of me trying to find the deeper meaning within this part of my life or reasoning for why God does what he does, I need to just remain faithful to his glory and enjoy the ride.
In the beginning of creating this blog, I expected to only make one post just so everyone could understand my point of view on my injury. I did not expect for people to even look at this blog, let alone get the amount of feedback I have received. From most of the people I have talked to, they wanted me to continue posting. For the next couple of months I will use this blog as my own personal diary. I am known for keeping a lot of stuff to myself, but with this blog I will be open and honest and write about my good and bad days as I encounter this journey to getting back on the court. With that being said, surgery day is tomorrow! I know I have been through all of this once already, but in a way I still am nervous. It is not a bad nervous like I am uncertain, because I know God has a plan for me. I am feeling more like pre-game butterflies for a big game, like Duke. It’s like you’re jittery prior to running out on the court, but once that ball hits your hands it is like you are back at the playground playing with your friends. In this scenario, my hospital room is going to be my court. I have to apply the same work ethic I have towards basketball and start to focus it towards my knee. Just like we practice every day trying to get better because we know the most prepared team is the best team and with all the rehab I have been doing these past two weeks, I am more than prepared. I have heard a lot of quotes these past few weeks, but one that stuck out to me was, “Sometimes you have to be broken down to be built up to be the person that God wants you to be.” My breaking down process starts tomorrow, I know It is going to be a long and hard journey, but I hope - better yet I know - by the end of it I will be one of God’s little soldiers.
Initially, writing this I questioned if making a blog was necessary, but I think it is important that anyone who is interested understands that I am mentally, spiritually, and emotionally doing great. The past few days I have received several phone calls, voicemails, emails, and text messages from a lot of people and I just want to stress how thankful I am to be surrounded by such amazing people. What I found interesting about any love or support I received from anyone was the amount of sympathy and regret some people had for me. I think people are taking this harder than I am, but I just look at how much I grew my last surgery and I am ready to attack the task at hand. A lot of people feel sorry for me and honestly, I did the same when it first happened. I gave myself all of Sunday to get out all my tears, frustration, and anger. I asked myself the typical, “Why me?” questions, and at a point I wondered if I could do this again. I knew I was going to have to fight this obstacle in front of me, but to an extent I have been fighting my whole life. I know how far I’ve come and refuse to give up now, especially when I know I still have so much to look forward to!
I know this may sound a little weird in a way I am kind of excited because I thought I had already been through enough in my life and I guess God is saying I have so much more to learn. I already know I am going to struggle and have my days, but I am going to see if I can decrease those days more than I did my last ACL surgery. I have cried my tears, got out all my frustration and now it’s time to move forward. I am focusing on getting my body back and helping my team get another ACC championship. I may not be on the court, but I sure will be on the bench acting a complete fool.
I appreciate all the love and support from my family, friends, and Terp Nation. I am redshirting my sophomore year, but I will be back next year ready to go. If you think this team is a point guard short, you are sadly mistaken. What makes this team so special is our reaction to adversity and I can’t imagine being surrounded by a better group of women. You can go ahead and doubt this team if you want, but I guarantee you will regret it. We have been getting it done all summer, preseason, and I am too excited to see them get it done this season. Regardless of who is on the court, we are going to compete and in my opinion with our relentless work ethic, positions on the floor don’t matter.
I wrote this to show everyone that I really am in a good place. I know it’s a lot to take in, but my grandma has always taught me not to hang my head. The things I can control, I will control and the rest will be left in God’s hands. I know what is in front of me and now I just have to have enough fight and will power to get it done. I call this chapter in my life, “Courage!”