I started playing basketball when I was 8 years old; ever since then it has been one of the biggest parts of my life. When I injured myself in 2015, I was forced to live without it, and still to this day I’m forced to live without it. To put it into a slight perspective it has been 1 year and 3 months or 466 days, 40,262,400 seconds, 671,040 minutes, 11,184 hours, 66 weeks since I’ve played a game of basketball, the longest time I’ve ever gone without it. Before that, I was training and playing up to 7 days a week, flat out. It was basically all I did; as long as I had a basketball in my hand I was happy. And the moment that got taken away from me I felt so lost. The basketball court has always been my favourite place to clear my head, when I step onto that court the outside world disappears and when you’re forced to live without that, my God is it difficult. It was like suddenly I had just lost part of me.
When I first started my rehabbing I was placed with a physio that knew absolutely nothing about sport related knee injuries, which sounds ridiculous but what I mean by that is the physio had only ever worked with elderly people and didn’t have much experience with athletes “return to sport rehab,” I never thought much of it. They’re all good at what they do so as long as I did what I was told everything should work out fine, I thought. I started my rehabbing off on the back foot and I never really gained any momentum and when it got to about the 6 month mark, everything started to go wrong. One by one. Everyday I would just go through the same motions, and everyday I would receive the same outcome. Oblivious to the situation, I always questioned myself wondering why I wasn’t going anywhere with my rehab. I stopped feeling confident and worst of all I stopped believing there was ever going to be a time I’d play basketball again. That’s about the time when I re-injured my knee.
I used to go to the gym twice maybe three times a week and would do the same thing, would barely push myself and I’d walk out of there feeling horrible. Each time I went, nothing improved. I was content with my life yet I had nothing to feel happy about, and when I got the ok to start running again, off I went because I was “allowed” to run, but it wasn’t the right thing to do and I never knew that. Not once did my physio stop me; test my strength or my stability. I felt like I was just another client she wanted to get out of her hair. I knew that I had to make a decision because I hated the feeling, I became insanely depressed about everything in my life and the support I was getting was close to nothing. My surgeon was really disappointed by the treatment I was receiving and even more disappointed about the way nothing had improved, further more, when it led to re injury, he was shocked. It was the one thing I never wanted to happen. At this point I was placed with a new phsyio because there was no way I was going anywhere with my recovery. To be honest, I wouldn’t be anywhere today without my new physio, he has guided me, pushed me, and most of all supported me 110% to not only ensure that I play basketball again, but that I live a happy and healthy life again. When I say that I feel like a completely different person than I did 6 months ago, I truly mean it. This is a shout out to my physio, because he is one hell of a person and a true inspiration to me.
I have the motivation now and because of that, my gym programs have become one of the best parts about my days. I push myself and continually work hard. I have found a new side to me, one that I’m going to continue to work on for as long as I live. My physio told me that you need to set your life up to inspire people and that it doesn’t matter what you’ve been through. It’s about what you do next that’s really going to inspire people. Ever since that day, I feel like I’m coming close to finding my way back. It’s the best feeling in the world to know that the hard work and commitment is starting to pay off and people are starting to notice. I’ve said it a million times, I have plenty of reasons and excuses to give up or not do it but it doesn’t mean I need to use them, and that’s why I work so hard because I constantly remind myself how lucky I am to have the opportunity to live the amazing life I was given, I never remind myself of how tired or how much pain I’m in. I stay focused and positive no matter what. I have one job and that’s to get better each and every day.
The day I stopped worrying about what everyone thought about me or about what everyone else was doing, was the day I became a better version of myself. I guess this whole time I’ve been trying to find that part of me I lost when I injured myself, and even in the midst of my crazy journey, I feel like I’m finally starting to see that happy girl again. I know there’s a lot more to life than sport, I’ve learnt that but like I said when it’s been apart of your life since day one, you know no better than to make it your life. But my life is so much brighter now and I can honestly say I’m the happiest I have ever been.
“Why do we dread adversity when we know that facing it is the only way to become stronger, smarter, better? Embrace it.”