Searching for the Beauty in the Madness

Today there are about 20 days till I get to see my family and friends again. It has been 10 months since my ACL reconstruction. I’ve been here in Poland approximately 3 months. Time passes ever so quickly so I know these 20 days will go swiftly by. I can’t wait to see my little nephew who will be walking by the time I get home. I will hopefully get to check in with everyone back at Iowa State and maybe catch a game of my lady clones. I also am looking forward to watching some of the girl’s I gave lessons to this summer play back at my old high school. I’m hoping to see that they are using the skills I taught them and haven’t forgotten everything so quickly. All in all I’m just excited to be Home sweet home where everything is familiar and comfortable. I’m just ready to be back and surrounded by loved ones. 

            As for thanksgiving, Hanna and I didn’t really get to have much of a thanksgiving because it was a fairly busy day with practice. They obviously don’t celebrate it here because they never had our historical indian/pilgrim situation. Even though there was no meal, we did get to have some pumpkin pie thanks to mi madre. She sent me the supplies to make some. Either way, we don’t need a huge meal to remember what we’re thankful for and how blessed we are in all aspects of our lives. From the people we are surrounded with to the roof over our heads. God is good! 

     My post today is random. You don’t have to agree with what I have to say. Since this is my blog, they are my thoughts and they sort of bounce around in this. Each person differs as well as their views of things due to individual personal experiences. Enjoy!

Basketball:

            Playing here in Poland has been interesting. Our team is young and new to the league. We have only won about 3 games and it’s been rough. We haven’t had a shortage of injuries. Seems that once one person gets healthy another person falls victim to some kind of injury.  I’ve been struggling this whole time getting my knee swelling to go down and for it to feel normal. I will be getting an MRI here in a few days to see if I might possibly need a scope at some point down the road. It’s hard to get back to playing how I once did when my knee keeps flaring up. It is so frustrating. The rehab and the quality of care here isn’t as good as it was in college or back in the states. I do my own rehab on injuries and try to help teammates if they want it. My living room here is basically my personal gym with bands, yoga ball, foam roll, and yoga mat. I freeze little cups of ice for ice baths because ice baths are unheard of here. This experience of understanding how to rehab myself will help me when I do decide to go to grad school for PT. So at least for that I am grateful. It is a learning experience and I call my old trainer at Iowa State all the time and at all hours. haha I forget the time change sometimes. I trust her opinion more than anyone here when it comes to taking care of my body and what I should do for recovery/rehab exercises.

      A few weeks ago I partially dislocated my shoulder and was out for a bit. I didn’t practice at all and then at the game this weekend I just got thrown into it for 20 minutes. I was slightly winded and didn’t play the greatest but we won and that’s all that matters. You can only control the controllable. It was good to see coach and everyone on the team happy for a change. The frustration and tension was getting pretty high up until that point. Basketball just isn’t the same over here. It’s just been a struggle to get in the groove of things.  

      

     The way I see basketball, is as this beautiful work of art or this beautiful dance flowing ever so smoothly. Like clockwork and every moving part working like it should; moving like it should. Every person dancing the same rhythm, making the right steps, reacting to others, moving at the right time and the right way. And it feels great to be apart of something like that. A well-oiled machine.

I come here and it’s no longer this beautiful work of art. It’s a messed up puzzle of this beautiful thing that once was. So many pieces that need to be put back together in order to get the full effect. But it’s so hard.

       Going from the U.S. playing disciplined college basketball or WNBA to somewhere overseas, so far just feels like going from the opera to a middle school band recital. It’s this blank slate where only the basic outline of what basketball should look like is sketched. It’s missing something. Missing the details within that make it unique. But you can’t just draw them in. There’s so much more to it. Rules and social/cultural norms stopping you. So all you can do is settle for the generic version of your favorite snack or a photocopy of the Mona Lisa because the real thing is just too far out of reach for the time being. I guess it also depends on the way you look at it. Because sometimes the madness of it all makes it that much more valuable & beautiful.  Maybe all I need is a change in perspective. Everything happens for a reason and maybe the pieces will come together soon enough.

            Don’t get me wrong. I am enjoying myself here. It’s a good experience. I could sit and complain about being bored because there isn’t much to do. I could sit here and talk about how you can’t drink water out of the tap or how my shower is baby sized. I could whine about a lot of things but I’ve chosen to embrace it and see it for what it is. Living here makes me appreciate things all the more. Everyone on my team is nice and super friendly. Everyone I’ve met here in Lublin has been so very welcoming and supportive. The people here don’t need much to be happy. They are simple and they live simply. As long as they have their health everything is right in the world. They are happy with less. Which I think I know a few people who could use some tips from them. Most of us Americans must seem so materialistic and high maintenance in their eyes. We always want more or better than we already have and I don’t think that most people ever reach that point where they are JUST simply and completely happy with what they have, where they are, or who they are. I know I struggle with that sometimes too. For now though, I am content with living in the present and being happy in it.

       

This is my last random thought of the day because sometimes the rough days get the best of you:

      Isn’t it a relief to know that every detail of your life is planned, every obstacle, every bad day, every hardship or frustration or thing gone wrong that’s not as YOU planned? I’ve learned to laugh, to hope and to keep faith. Because eventually in your darkest hours a sliver of light has to creep in. I’ve learned from experience. After Every dark time in my life a even brighter day has come of it. It does get better, eventually. No matter how long or how hard/ heavy those days or emotions seem to weigh on you. 

      You can’t climb a mountain by starting from the top. You can’t appreciate the strength inside you, the journey, the people you met along the way, or the knowledge you gained by starting from the top. You can’t fully understand a book by reading from the end. It’s the little details within and the order they’re precisely presented that make it desirable, that make it great, that spark a bit of curiosity, or bring people a smidge hope & happiness. God designed each and every one of those details. The greatest author of all designed YOUR life. If you chose to walk with him do you really think he would leave your book without some sort of happy ending?  

     I sit here and think about all those who don’t believe in God or just believe in some “thing” out there or nothing at all. I think why would you want to go through all those tough times alone. With God I’ve never been alone. I’ve faced depression knowing with him that the sadness would eventually fade because there’s no way the darkness would stay forever. I knew some light had to get in to me however small that light was. The sun always comes back up. You just have to be patient. He’s been my hope when everything seemed hopeless. And I can’t imagine those hard times without that kind of “hope”. But then again how can you crave something you’ve never tasted.  How can someone crave Him if they’ve never had the chance to know him in any way. Food for thought. Spread the word 🙂

 

“I will go before you, and make the crooked places straight” 

–Isaiah 45:2

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. “ 

– Isaiah 43:2

“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably does not lead anywhere.”

–Frank A. Clark

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