Athletes In Action: Mission Trip to Ivory Coast…

In the last blog I posted, I wrote about investing in yourself so that you may be able to see things from a better perspective, increase your value, and be able to help others with that value. I wrote about how new experiences and meeting new people from all over open new doors within you and open your eyes to different ways of thinking. In light of that, I have chosen to be a part of a mission trip to Ivory Coast in West Africa through Athletes in Action (a CRU affiliation).

Going on a mission trip has always been on my bucket list because I’ve always known deep down that it would be a life changing experience where I’d get to share my faith and testimony with others who may be less fortunate. However, I never imagined that I’d have the opportunity to use my faith and my basketball skills together on one. On this trip we will be building relationships with athletes, fans, coaches, and officials to help them accelerate their ministries by sharing the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. We will be putting on youth camps, coaching clinics, helping the U-19 Ivorian women’s national team prepare for the upcoming Francophonie games, and providing humanitarian aid to the greater Abidjan area.

And like I said in my last post, the people I interact with there will leave as much lasting impact on me as I hope to leave on them. Through this experience, I’m striving to deepen my relationship with God, learn how to more effectively share my faith with others, continue to better my leadership skills, and to give other young athletes the opportunity to grow in their own personal relationship with Christ. If nothing else, I want to plant a seed in these youth’s minds and I want them to plant a seed of thought in mine. I want to be able to give to everyone I cross paths with any form of love, kindness, and aid that I am capable of.

In retrospect of that, I have to admit that sometimes I get so caught up in my own world and getting myself “right” that I neglect the relationships I have with others. I forget to give back in order to get back and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I say that I’m just really “focused” at the moment and drop my social life or don’t think I have time to do little things like volunteering in the community. When in reality if something is important enough, you make time for it. So this year I’ve actively been trying to grow in that mentality of “giving back” because when you give back, you get back more than you could ever imagine.

I feel that it’s important for me to add that I understand I don’t need to go all the way to the Ivory Coast in order to give back but one way I’m giving back in my local community is through my church. We have a community involvement weekend once a month and on this day for about 2 hours we just play with kids in what is considered the “bad” part of town. We meet them in their neighborhood, play games, do art projects, have food for them, and have other fun stuff for them to do. Just the act of being around them and giving them your attention and love is enough. They love every minute of it. Of course you can find me most the time on the court balling it up with some of them. Only occasionally schooling them … when they start getting cocky. 😉 But I can say that just being with them for 2 hours out of what I consider my “busy schedule” is worth every minute. It warmed my heart and impacted me more than I thought it would. So this time I’m trying to get some of my basketball buds from the gym to join in and hopefully I can round up a few.  You just don’t know what you’re missing until you’re actually a part of it and seeing the difference that you are making.

In basketball you might say, “the more you pass the ball, the quicker you’ll get it back.” Meaning, the more you give, you’d be surprised to learn how much the universe is willing to give you back. In order to “get”, you need to “give”. That can be said for relationships, friendships, or business aspects as well.

This mission trip is another opportunity for me to give back outside my local community while investing in myself on a deeper, personal level as well. But in order to be a part of this trip, I am required to raise $4,500 for my portion of it. However, I do not have that kind of money just laying around because I am “still getting my life together” and haven’t found my sugar daddy yet. Just kidding… kinda. Haha. But the $4,500 portion of the team’s goal covers food, lodging, travel, and other team expenses. And all the funds must be raised by June 12 in order for our team to report to training camp.

I really am not the type to ask for money because I am an “independent woman, and don’t need no man.” 😉 But since this is for a great cause and will essentially reach the hearts of many people who might not be as fortunate as us to know what it is to have a close personal relationship with God, I will. Also, I ask because I would really love to be a part of this life changing opportunity and be able to leave a lasting impact on someone else’s life. If you would like to help fund my trip and share in our mission and purpose in Africa please go to www.give.ccci.org  and enter my Tracking Number: 0945781 (My fundraising code) in the “Give A Gift” box, or you can make a check payable to Athletes In Action and return it to me (though you will have to ask me for my address because I don’t think listing it so openly is the best idea ever).

As I’ve been considering whether or not I should go on this trip, there’s been one phrase that really spoke to me: “Nothing that you have not given away, will ever truly be yours”. To me that means that I should try to give away every piece of what makes me, me and use it to help others. Whether that be through my blogs and everyone they impact or simply giving someone my time, attention, or advice. My love, my kindness, my compassion, my faith, and my knowledge can all be used to uplift someone else and that is what I am trying to do. I’m trying to be better. I’m trying to make a difference because sitting around just thinking about it won’t change a thing. God gave each and every one of us talents, characteristics, skills, and personalities that are meant to change an entire person’s life. Whether we choose to share them with the rest of the world is a personal choice.

I love that phrase because in a way it’s also directed at a materialistic view of things. You can give items, money, and clothes away. They also can be taken from you. Those things are never truly yours. What’s yours is every little detail and piece of you that makes you, YOU. THAT is yours. Nobody can take away what makes you, you. But the fact that you can choose to give someone your time, attention, and love is something else altogether. All that stuff is YOURS. Your Love, your compassion, your kindness, and your attention. It makes the choice to share them with another that much more meaningful. So I ask you to please consider sharing in my mission to Ivory Coast in any way you choose – whether that be by helping to fund me, sending me your love and positive vibes, or simply by sending me your prayers. I appreciate them all in any way, shape, or form! Thank you! XO

 

“And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.””

-Luke 10:2

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Investing In Yourself…

“You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

You’re on your own and you know what you know.

And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.”

-Dr. Suess

When you wake up in the morning what are you striving for? When you’re sitting alone at night in your thoughts, what do you dream of becoming? When you look at where you were 3 months ago, what have you accomplished? When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

So many of us dream of who we want to be, or who we wish we were, yet do nothing about it. We leave it in the distance, as if it’s so far out of reach that taking those necessary steps toward it seems worthless.

It’s like not wanting to get off the couch to get the remote because it’s too much work. If you sit there long enough, day in and day out, you make an indent in that spot. It becomes YOUR spot, shaped to your own making- eventually becoming one that’s hard to get out of once you’re in it.

Funny, how that’s also how life seems sometimes. You settle into the role you’ve chosen for yourself, the role that’s “comfortable” and where you fit into it as perfectly as you fit into that spot on the couch. It’s your place; your routine. The place that maybe once you’ve been in it for so long, have it broken in, it’s hard for you to get out of. It’s hard to want to try sitting anywhere else. But then one day you’re forced to and you realize from this new place you have a better vantage point and better perspective to see everything you couldn’t before. You realize the spot you were once in was nothing compared to this new place you’ve discovered. You just didn’t know what you were missing because you became comfortable. You didn’t want to go outside your box, your routine, your opinion of what you thought you liked or didn’t like. It was simply what you knew.

For me, it’s sad to think about myself ever getting “comfortable” in this role I’ve chosen for myself and who I am. I don’t think I’m ever fully comfortable because I’ve been blessed to travel the world and see things that many people don’t ever get the chance to. Every time I think my eyes are open, I turn the corner and find that my vision wasn’t as clear as I thought. My eyes are constantly being opened by experiencing new cultures, languages, foods, and activities; by meeting people who are different from me, and through every bit of new knowledge I gain. Each detail of my life has opened a new door within me and there are so many doors there, in my mind and in yours, that haven’t even been touched. Maybe you just never saw the door before or maybe you did and just didn’t care enough to jiggle the knob and peek inside.

I’ve found that through my experiences, I’ve gained much more compassion and acceptance towards others because I’ve been in so many different situations and met so many people different from myself. I’ve gained more vantage points to view from and multiple lenses to view through. So many more perspectives to see with because those “doors” have been opened. With those added skills and knowledge, I see myself as more valuable. You become more valuable when you open your mind to experience more and see things in a different light. You become a Swiss Army knife with more than just a blade. You’re a tool box that’s actually filled with something useful. You’re not just an empty box with nothing to offer others who come along, looking inside for the right tools to fix or create their lives/dreams. You are capable of helping them fix their problems or create something great of their own!

It’s not just about you, or how others can help you. That’s the narrow, one-way perspective on life. It’s about those you can impact and help along the way. Meaning, life is just as much about how YOU affect others as it is about how they affect you. Every single person makes a dent in you in some way, shape or form and vices versa. We are constantly being shaped into the person we are supposed to be by every detail, word, and action that occurs. Who you are carries weight and value. Why not try to be as valuable to others as you want them to be to you?

For this reason, I chose to go after my MBA. It’s why I am constantly trying to be better, in some way every day. It is why I strongly believe in forever INVESTING in yourself as a person and as a professional. You should think of yourself as something worth investing in. You should be trying to make yourself as valuable as possible. You should be trying to be that toolbox with something to offer others, as well as yourself.  Don’t you ever wonder where your potential reaches and where your limits lie? I question all the time who I could be, how valuable I could be to myself and others, or how I could better help anyone who I come into contact with in some way, shape, or form. I wanted to go after my MBA to get those “tools” to fill my box with so that when I do figure out what I want to build for myself or others, I have the tools to do so.

On top of that, I also really enjoy learning because knowledge is another powerful tool. The day you stop learning or wanting to learn is the day you die. You’re going to learn something in this life whether you want to or not. How much you learn is up to you. You can’t push someone up a ladder- they have to want to climb. Are you just sitting there staring up, wondering what’s at the top, but too lazy to climb? Are you too comfortable in your spot to get up and grab the remote? Are you sitting there claiming to be “starving” with a buffet before you, but too lazy to get up and eat? Maybe you’re actually starving for knowledge, for fuel to add to that dimming flame of yours, for some enlightening experience to provoke a new way of thinking within you.

I don’t know about you, but when I start sinking into my spot and routine my mind goes somewhat numb. When I break from the routine, go out, or experience new people and things my mind feels refreshed. These moments spark something in me. They ignite a fire in me. They wake me up!

The people in my MBA program do that to me. Talking with them about their reasons for being in the program, what they are striving for, why they want to be better … is INSPIRING! It’s an amazing feeling to be surrounded by others who are trying to be better daily and are motivated to increase their value. Everyone is striving for something even they don’t all know exactly what they want to do with the MBA once they have it. Heck, I don’t even know for sure what I’m going to do with it or what I want to be when I “grow up”. And that’s okay! My dad and many other “adults” I’ve spoken with still claim they don’t know what they want to be when they “grow up” and they are old and dusty.  So I’d like every one of you out there to know you’re not the only one. But the only one that can go after that dream of yours is YOU!

These people in my program fuel my flame and my motivation to be better. They inspire me to go after the dreams and ambitions that spark my fire. Go after those things that fuel yours as well. Make your flame as blindingly bright as you can and share your light with others.

A candle loses nothing by lighting another. Remember that…

Also, I will add that at the end of the day, you are the top 5 people you surround yourself with. Meaning, you become the people you CHOOSE to surround yourself with! Ask yourself, who are your top 5?

In my mind, if I’m just sitting around completely satisfied with who I am today it’s almost like I’m just biding my time until my days on this Earth are over. I feel like I’m a glass that’s supposed to be filled to the brim and I want to be overflowing. Why would you choose to settle for half full, half empty or somewhere in between?

Why wouldn’t you want to make yourself better and more knowledgeable? Why accept who you are right now when there’s so much out there that you know nothing about or haven’t seen? You should wonder where the limits of your potential reach. You should wonder who you could be. There’s never an excuse to stop dreaming of what you could become or what skills you could obtain. So no, maybe none of us know what/who we want to be when we grow up. We are constantly growing- forever growing up. Our priorities and our values change with age. We reach one goal of who we see ourselves as and we find something else to strive for. Do it for yourself, even if others around you are still “sitting on that couch”.

But at the end of the day, how many steps you’ve taken toward that dream is up to you and the only person standing in the way of reaching your full potential is YOURSELF. Get up off that couch. Surround yourself with people who push you to be better. Do some things that make you uncomfortable. You prune the dead leaves off of trees to make them grow. Start pruning and continue growing!


“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full–pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”

-Luke 6:38


 

I love You, Right Where You Are…

Chasing Hands
By: Chelsea Poppens

Time never stops.
It’s always ticking,
Forever winding.

Do you watch, waiting for it to stop?
Yet, even when your clock ceases,
Time still keeps ticking.

Blazing a straight path forward,
Never to backtrack.
Not sparing you a glance once it’s lost you.

Along the way you stumble,
Stuck forever chasing seconds long gone.
Never gaining an inch.

Desperately clinging to every one you touch-
Sometimes not hard enough.
Running that impossible race against time.

But, maybe it’s not a race at all.
Maybe it’s just simply life.
Maybe it’s not a countdown.
Maybe it was never meant to be counted at all.

7 teams, 6 blog posts, 5 countries, 4 years, 3 knee operations, 2 surgeons, and only 1 me. Let the countdown or count-up begin, or continue I suppose. Whatever way you choose to look at it…

Let’s face it, this life is just a compilation of numbers. Between counting how old you are and fearing the days you have left, how long you’ve worked the same job, how many years your body will allow you to continue playing, how there’s never enough hours in the day to accomplish what you want to, how many pizza slices you’ve eaten over your limit that you’re going to pretend didn’t happen, or how many days you’ve somehow successfully stuck to your diet. Constantly counting…

I suppose it’s due time for this greatly put-off update on my life situation, starting with the most dramatic one- the 3rd knee operation I had back in September for the torn ACL that occurred in Puerto Rico playing for less than 8 minutes in the first game and less than 48 hours being there. After 3 years of rehab, blogging about the process, and the emotions that come along with it, talking about it gets a bit monotonous and repetitive. The emotions are still there, but you learn to bury them and become numb to them. There’s no longer any room to feel sorry for yourself. This ain’t your first rodeo, and nobody likes to hear the same sob story on repeat. 

So let’s skip to the key stuff. I am doing my MBA online through the University of Florida and working as a sales rep for a medical imaging equipment company. On the side, I am rehabbing my knee. To say I am keeping busy is an understatement, but you could say I’m less busy than I was right after my surgery. I guess I came back to Florida trying to hit the ground running and have absolutely no time to think about my recurring, unlucky circumstances. I was on a power trip thinking I could do anything I put my mind to and that I did. Oh buddy- I got 2 jobs as soon as I got back, jumped into 9 credits in my MBA program, was rehabbing my knee, and had absolutely NO social life. If you don’t know already, rehab for a professional athlete is a full-time job in and of itself. It worked though, for a time, but you can only bottle everything up for so long and attempt to balance it all.

I guess that I’ve been through this unfortunate situation enough that I understood what I needed to do for my well-being and sanity. But at the end of the day, you can’t fix cracks in your foundation with super glue and duck-tape and expect it to hold up. Those cracks always show up eventually.

Luckily, my credits decreased to 6 and I dropped one of my jobs. It was just that time.

But through this experience, I’ve come to understand that when you’ve already visited the dark places inside yourself and gotten to know them, you no longer fear them. They become old friends and you already know what it takes to crawl out of that hole. Though, each time is slightly different and you meet new, amazing people on the way out that lend you a hand and help you along the way.

The knee rehab is a permanent part of my story, but let’s step away from that for a moment and focus on something else, a new part of my life, something I’d long put-off (for good reason, it seems)- the inevitable, unavoidable role of “Adulting”.

ADULTING:

I will say, it was exciting at first to have some sort of responsibility and a routine to my life after it took another downward spin. I was so excited to get not one, but TWO jobs as soon as I got to Fort Myers. It gave me a sense of worth and identity, outside of simply being an “athlete”; some place that still counts on me to show up and accomplish something. Still, I find myself in a rut some days. I know it can be just a phase where you kind of go through the motions to get to the next day. You wake up, workout, work, do homework or whatever you usually do (family time, drinking wine, mindless tv, vodka, whatever your thing is; I’m not judging. I get it, I do!) It’s a constant battle to balance everything, and I can barely do it with just myself and whatever baggage I’ve accumulated emotionally/physically.

Let me just say this with every ounce of respect in my being:

I don’t know how you people with families and kids do it. YOU ARE AMAZING! YOU ARE A SUPERHERO absolutely crushing life! Maybe you don’t feel like you are but just scraping by is still an accomplishment alone.

On a side note of that, I can completely understand how you might get slightly lost along the way. With me just balancing work, working out, school, rehab, and barely a social life is rough enough as it is. (And not to mention, I’m STILL single and my parents worry about me more than I worry about myself some days.) However, I can completely see how working, trying to be a good wife/husband, mom/dad, friend, and all those different roles can put you completely out of balance and throw you through a loop. It’s beyond difficult, if not on the verge of impossible. So, KUDOS to you for doing it all and being a superhero in a sense; life isn’t easy, especially when you have other people counting or leaning on you. I just thought this section was necessary in honor of those out there being an absolute BOSS at life.

What I’ve come to learn about “Adulting” so far and from others who have far more experience and training in it:

When you are constantly balancing a million things, something is going to take a backseat. It’s all about prioritizing and being able to understand that you really can’t do it all. Or maybe you can do it all, but not to the quality that you or someone else needs it at. I found myself spread thin and not able to put enough energy or time into what was on my plate. If you’re my friend or family you know that my plate is usually full in all forms of that phrase 😉 …

I am not one to want to do something halfway, but I am someone that wants to do it all. I’ve learned I can’t give 100% of myself into something when I have a million “somethings” going on all at once. At some point you’re going to drop the ball and one of those things is going to spin out of control or simply be forgotten. At that point you feel a mess, like you’re dropping pieces of yourself left and right. Sometimes scrambling to pick them up, while dropping others (probably more important ones) in the process. The reality of it all is this: it doesn’t matter how many pieces you pick up, if you can’t hold them all.

So when life gets to this point and you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, remember to sit down, breathe, and take a minute (probably longer) to reprioritize. Also, I think it’s important to not let yourself go so blind that you only see what you aren’t accomplishing and none of what you are or have already accomplished. I had to remind myself to look back at where I was a few months ago to see how far I’ve come; instead of only seeing how far I had left to go. Sometimes you get so caught up trying to blaze a trail forward that you forget to sit and appreciate the road you had to take to get where you are now. Give yourself some credit. You’re not supposed to be “perfect” or “flawless”. You are perfect, right as you are.

What fun would perfect be anyway? What would you have left to strive for?

Think of it like this: nobody really likes reading about someone with the perfect journey, who has it all together, who never lost their way, or who never lost their balance in life. The best movies also aren’t the ones about people who didn’t struggle. Be honest, in the back of your mind, those are the people that you kind of, secretly, want to trip anyway… at least once to see how/if they rise. 😉

I heard the phrase “I love you, right where you are” the other day from a friend. I think that rings true to most of you as well. God loves you, right where you are… the hot mess you are some days and the absolute BOSS you are on others. You’re not doing it wrong. You’re just not thinking it right.

Finally, to answer that dreaded question of if I plan on going back to basketball:  Honestly, I haven’t given too much thought about if it. I think I’ve just come to the understanding that nothing I plan, goes as planned. All I can do is control the controllable and what’s happening in the now. My focus, at the moment, is work, school, surviving the daily grind at times, rehabbing, and trying to find happiness and light where I can. Also, I really just want to get healthy and then take it from there. God will throw me the things that are necessary for my life journey and take away the rest. In the meantime, I will wait for him to show me what’s next…

The Calm After the Storm…

R.I.P.
I stumbled
Upon myself thinking today,
“One day I will be who I once was.”
Instantly, recognizing the falsehood
 ringing along with it.
This beat down, broken, put-back-together self
can never be that again.
That naïve, hopeful, unmarked, energy radiating,
Dream-builder of a child.
It’s like saying the chicken can go back into the egg.
Once cracked those lines remain.
Forever changed.
I stood,
Accepting the beauty in the destruction.
Seeing a glint of gold amongst the ashes of who I once was.
Filling those cracks with new dreams, recreated ambitions,
a redesigned soul.
Because pieces of that ghost were ripped from me.
I held a funeral for her long ago.
I embraced
That rough draft of my journey to come.
The unmarked proof of someone who hasn’t yet lived.
Who hasn’t yet gone into battle
To fight for what she is to become.
Editing, revising, never reaching perfection.
Realizing, I had to be torn apart
To truly be put back together again.
I found
Myself staring in the mirror at this familiar stranger.
Remembering who she once was.
Embracing this perfectly imperfect work in progress.
Forever changing.
Forever marked.
     Always pending….   

   You know how when you’ve been in the dark and suddenly there’s light and you have to wait for your eyes to adjust before you can actually see? Or how when it’s been raining for a while and suddenly stops you look for it to begin again? That’s kind of how I feel right now…

    The past year and half since I tore my ACL I have been constantly fighting, struggling, clawing my way back to being healthy and trying to get my life back together. I’ve been trying to have a plan. I went through some pretty dark, depressing times. I’ve been through the ringer and that rollercoaster of emotions of not knowing what the next step was. It always seemed like every time I had a grip on something it crumbled again and again. One week my knee was great and the next it was swollen and I couldn’t do anything for another week. So many setbacks. I couldn’t make WNBA training camp this past summer because my knee wasn’t ready. Nobody wanted to give me a chance overseas because my knee wasn’t cleared or I was too much of a risk. I needed a chance to prove my knee’s health in the fall but everyone was scared to give me the chance. And I needed a chance in order to eventually give the WNBA one last shot. An endless cycle. I went through every day calculating what I was going to do for today, this week, this month until I could find some solid ground. It’s what you do when there’s not much you can do. You give up your social life and everything to simply focus and gain control of what you actually can control. You drop friends who don’t understand your journey or where you’re at in life. You learn who the real ones are and you kind of find yourself along the way.

    I reached a point this summer where I had had enough and was ready to completely give up my basketball dream. It felt like that’s what God was trying to tell me. Maybe he was just testing me to see if I could give up something I love so much and just simply have faith in Him and His plan for me. Turns out I could. It took a awhile but I could. No sooner had I lifted my worries and fears to Him completely than this Switzerland offer came up.

    I arrived here uncertain if I had made the right choice. My knee was deemed 30% weaker than my good knee upon arriving. I was told if I tried to play in the preseason games I could re-injure my knee. So yeah, I questioned my entire decision to come in the first few days. I was truly scared of the possibility of re-injuring my knee, constantly playing in fear or raw pain like in Poland, and being alone with it all. When you’re overseas you are all you have. Yes, you can call family or friends. Yes, you have teammates or a coach who sometimes cares about you. But in the end you are responsible for your own life and everyone else is simply curious or watching you live it. I knew I couldn’t do that mentally or physically again. It would be too much. 

    The next week was a complete 180. Everything just simply felt right. The place, the mountains, the people, the situation all felt right. I felt like I could relax for a bit, finally, after the rough road I took to get here.

 You know when it’s stormy for so long and there’s that moment where the sun comes out from behind the clouds? And you are perfectly content just standing there embracing the warmth and comfort of it? That was what it felt like… It felt just like a time of “peace”. I needed this moment. I needed this moment of peace, simply being content, and getting reacquainted with what being happy feels like again. You go so long knowing you’re unhappy and then somehow happiness creeps up on you and you hardly recognize it. You don’t know how to handle it so you analyze it and question it. You have to let your eyes adjust to it before you can actually see what’s in front of you. Before you can fully take in all the goodness around you. You try to soak in every bit of it before it goes away. When really you should embrace that moment and hope it doesn’t disappear behind the clouds again but you can’t. 

I’m learning to stop waiting for something bad to creep up again. I’m relearning how to simply be happy and stop looking over my shoulder for my world to get torn down again. I’m in the perfect place to do it. 🙂 

Switzerland is absolutely amazing. The mountains are absolutely breathtakingly stunning! I climb up to the Tourbillon castle from time to time because it’s so close. A friend introduced me to a great thinking spot up there one time at night and it works just as well during the day. haha No words are real enough, detailed enough, vivid enough to paint the scene from up there or to encompass the enormity of how spectacular the view is at night or day. Highly recommend the long, tedious climb up there because it’s worth it!

Like my dad said, “What’s not to love about Switzerland?!”

   The league here is fairly weak and the money isn’t great but it’s a great place to regain my health, my confidence and enjoy myself in the process. My teammates and coach are all really nice. I live with two of my teammates and I am the only American on the team. They both are in school, so I have to go on little adventures by myself all the time throughout the week to stay entertained. I travel to other cities to hang with the other Americans and explore the area. I’m trying to make as many friends as possibly outside of basketball. It’s going slowly but okay so far. This weekend, I am going to Berlin to see the one and only Kelsey Harris!! Hooday-Hoo! So excited to see her face and hang with her for a few days. I know my family is jealous back home because they almost love her more than me. It is what it is. I’m not bitter or anything 😉 The other option was Hallie Christofferson in Athens but Kelsey won out this time around. Sorry Hallie, you got me for our Arizona road trip. haha

Also, I am learning French and it is going okay. It’s frustrating. I get made fun of a lot because the pronunciation of everything is crazy hard but I am up for the challenge. I’m missing everyone back home. I realized today where I sit in my nephew’s heart after faceTiming him. He saw me, said, “Chelsea” with a huge grin, then pointed to the phone and said, “Cows?” My mom said, “No were talking to Chelsea.” He then said “Bye bye.” … okay,.. that’s cool. Didn’t hurt at all. haha I seem to have a lot of brownie points to make up for when I come back over Christmas. I don’t really blame him. I like cows too. *shrugs*

All in all, I am trying to embrace where I am, live for the day, and stop worrying about tomorrow. Sometimes it’s not about finding your happiness; it’s about embracing the happiness of the now. The little things. I like the quote: 

“People get lost when they think of happiness as a destination. We’re always thinking that someday we’ll be happy, you know, we’ll get that car, or that job, or that person in our lives that will “fix” everything. But happiness is a mood, and it’s a condition, not a destination. It’s like being tired, or hungry… it’s not permanent. It comes and goes, and that’s okay. And I feel like if people thought of it that way, they’d find happiness a lot more often. “

I’m trying to do what makes me happy and let the things that don’t fall away. I’ve been unhappy for far too long. I’m not wasting any more time feeling that way. Sometimes you have to learn what is worth your energy and time. Same goes with people. Invest in people that invest in you. You create your own happiness daily. So find what makes you happy and keep doing it. Surround yourself and fill your days with experiences, travels, meeting new people, friends, and things that fill you with joy!

Xx ❤ 🙂

Below is another one of my creative works I wrote this summer when I was in my feelings & dark days. Maybe you will be able to relate in some way, maybe you won’t… 

Undiluted
Unpolluted rain floods the sky
Cleansing grummy layers from your soul.
Sitting in the silence of your thoughts;
Unafraid of the undiluted truth behind the mask.
You bask in the darkness,
Away from harsh unnatural light.
Like looking through windows at night,
You can see everyone but they can’t see you.
Unless they press their face up against the glass
Of your unfiltered world.
Most can only take it in small doses;
From the outside looking in
Or maybe the inside looking out.
Sometimes you just want to disappear into yourself.
Lose grip of reality and drown in your thoughts
As the rain drums down upon your darkness.
You don’t see why people fear the dark
If you never venture in it,
If you never get to know it,
How can you ever truly see the light?

Fall Down 7, Get up 8…

I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t eat my own words in my last post the very next day. I was struggling at the time i wrote the stuff about being positive but i still meant every word. Just because I struggled again after doesn’t mean those words don’t still ring true.

Before i get too far into this I want to say i’m not writing this to spark pity or for people to feel bad for me. Nobody should feel bad for me because there are much worse things. Don’t take the dark parts too seriously but just absorb it. They are MY words, for MY blog and how i felt these past few months. I could write another happy go lucky post but it wouldn’t be real. THIS is real. These feelings were real. I am still blessed in so many ways. Like they say, this is just one of my many minor setbacks toward my major comeback. 🙂 You want to know what it’s like being a professional athlete… the dark moments come side by side with the happy ones. It’s a package deal and I signed up for it. Right on the dotted line. 

I call the next 2 months, after my last post, my “dark days”. I say that because I was crippled with bitterness, sadness, frustration, self pity, and anger due to another everest of an obstacle in my path to recovery and getting to where I wanted to be. I thought that since i had overcome the rehab and the emotions of tearing my ACL that i would be on the downward slope finally. That Poland would be that new, rejuvenating, stepping stone towards my goal. Like being on a rocky boat for months and finally stepping on solid land. Finally getting my footing on something real; then finding out i was just kinda stuck in mud and i slid right back down. After months of maintaining that positive, cant stop me attitude, I finally had the breakdown I had expected to come a lot earlier. I don’t cry easily. A dumb tv show like vampire diaries or a movie like Seven Pounds might move one or two tears from my eyes occasionally ,but I found my breaking point in Poland finally. I call THAT my “chocolate week.” 

That week it felt like i was being tested with every single detail from every angle of my life. It was bad news after bad news and it just kept coming. I closed down because how does one talk to another person about that kind of sadness and frustration. How do you pour out, describe, paint a picture vivid enough, colorful enough to make that person feel or see everything your feeling. How do you release a little bit of that, give up just a little bit of it to someone else to lighten your load? I had been carrying this heavy load of emotions and finally it was too much. 

It felt like it was pointless to talk to anyone because it’s like translating a language, some things just get lost in the translation no matter how hard you try to make them understand. Nobody knew what I was feeling. It felt safer to sit in my quiet apartment and not talk to anyone and just let the tears roll. I was the only one that could, that would, be able to understand the detail of every emotion. The precision of the metaphorical knife cutting away at me. It felt pointless to talk to others about MY problems when they have problems of their own actually effecting their life… on their own continent. I was by myself in a foreign country trying to deal in the best way I knew how. A lot of times people don’t know the right words to say anyway. All i pretty much wanted from anyone I did try to talk to was for them to sit there and be like “Yeah Chelsea, that really sucks.” 

I didn’t want to hear all that positive crap that I had so recently been spouting to others because I could easily come up with some positives. That wasn’t the problem, i had just wrote a whole post on the positives. I could see the positives but the negatives outweighed them and couldn’t just be ignored. I knew it was just another part of God’s plan in my life but I needed to bask in the crappy-ness of it all. I needed to just feel sorry for myself for a time and just really feel it. Sometimes there’s so much ugliness that no amount of positivity can pretty it up. No amount of perfume can cover the stench. No amount of cleaning can clear it from the cracks of your foundation. It needs to be absorbed, processed, understood, and let go. 

Let me tell you something. Real friends are the people that will let you feel sorry for yourself for the right amount of time and then will give you a swift kick in the rear if you don’t get your sh*t together. The ones that will give you a boot and tell you when to stop feeling sorry for yourself because nobody else does. The world doesn’t stop for you. Luckily I didn’t need that kick. I scraped my big booty back up eventually but i had a few people who i knew would keep me in check if i didn’t. 

I was at my darkest having to wait almost a month due to insurance issues because of my dad. I pretty much gave him the silent treatment for 2 weeks after I got back from Poland and he gave it right back knowing he was in the wrong…What can I say, us Poppens are a stubborn lot. It was a very quiet house those two weeks. haha. Also, it probably didn’t help that he had told me in our first convo after the knee news that maybe it was just that time to grow up and move on to the next thing in my life. He didn’t say it in a mean way but still. For future reference to anyone who has the chance to be one of those people that someone in a dream crushing moment reaches out to… do NOT lead with that! -__- lol Wait until mayyybeee the 2nd conversation.

I wouldn’t know if i would get the opportunity to try out and make the WNBA again until i knew what was up with my knee; I wouldn’t know what was up with my knee truly until they operated and looked inside. And I wouldn’t be able to find that out for about another month. One month of being in a dark, bitter limbo. One month of what could’ve been rehab, just wasted. Not being able to go up stairs well or do much of anything active because the pain in my knee. Not knowing if my rehab will be another 3 or 6 months on top of all the rehab already done in the past year. Not knowing if it will be time to put away the basketball shoes in search of what my grandma might refer to as “ a real job.” Talks with her go back to either that or her asking if there’s any boys i’m interested in or want to “take out.” haha  But anyway, I would call these long 5 months the teeter-totter point where my life situation goes one way or another.

It’s hard not wanting to talk about your unknown life situation in a small town where everyone you see asks you the same questions. It’s hard to be friendly talking about something that’s eating you up from the inside out. The same questions that slightly make you feel shameful, unsuccessful, or a failure on the inside. I compare it to not being able to quite get up after a fall… like your just there on the dirty ground trying to gather yourself and people are looking curiously at the mess you are as they walk by. 

Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love the people in my town and the close knit community I come from. That people care enough to ask how you are doing, what you are doing back in town, how long your back in town, or what the next step is for you. You don’t get that everywhere. But when you, yourself don’t have the answers it’s a constant reminder of your unfortunate situation every time you have to tell people you don’t have all the answers to their questions or even yours yet. But either way, my small town and the people in it helped shape me and made me strong enough to take on obstacles like this. I’m grateful to have so many people that care and want to see me succeed. They too, see me at my worst and my best.

Out of the Dark Days…back into the light

Needless to say, i had to have a scope and micro-fracture done on my knee by the awesome Doctor Greenwald. The damage was due to the way I tore my ACL via contact. The knee clunked in and out of position causing bone bruising and cartilage damage along with it. Greenwald had to put little holes in my bone in order to try to stimulate cartilage growth. Only time will tell if it worked. 

I am beyond grateful and blessed that San Antonio decided to keep my rights and invite me back to training camp. They’re taking a chance on me even though i am on the mend. That meant the world and gave me back that glimmer of hope. 

Since then I’ve been at home rehabbing and trying to fight the boredom. It’s hard to find a job for just a few months. I see the light at the end of the tunnel finally. For the month of April i am living in Ames with an awesome couple who offered up their spare room for me to stay. I know them because they are originally from my hometown area. That is one of the perks of being from a small town and knowing so many lovely people who want to help you reach your dream. 

I moved to Ames in April because I can start up doing more basketball and agility stuff in this part of my rehab. The Iowa State coaching staff has always been amazing and supportive of me in my rehab. They let me use the Sukup facility as much as I want which means I am pretty much there all day. I think they’re probably tired of seeing me so much by now. 😉 

When your a student athlete at the time, you kind of take the 24/7 access and everything there for granted. I now fully understand the amazing, wonderful, coldness of an ice bath after having to freeze my own individual cups in a tiny freezer and de-thaw each one to put into a tiny tub in order for my body to make it through another day in Poland. 

Or the luxury of not having to limp slowly after a rebound alone in the gym because you have a SHOOTING GUN! Oh the greatness! God bless machines that rebound for you. 

I feel like i am crunched for time considering training camp is in May but I know that as soon as I pick up speed I’ll be back to doing what I know i am capable of in no time! 🙂 I can only control the controllable.

For those who don’t quite understand…

Why go after this frivolous dream of playing pro-basketball? 

Why deal with the physical and emotional pain and risk damaging your body even more? Why do athletes put themselves through it? 

Why don’t they just learn when enough is enough and when it’s time to leave the childish dreams behind? Everyone has to do it eventually…right? 

For me, it’s one of the few places where my mind is quiet and i don’t have to worry about all the other white noise surrounding my life. It’s what I know and it’s like a book i’ve read cover to cover a million times and I know it almost word for word but not quite. So familiar and comforting it’s like coming home after being away for a long time. A painting i almost know stroke for stroke because I helped paint it along with so many others. 

Or maybe i just want to feel that thrill of being unstoppable again, of giving every bit of myself to the game that i love. Not unstoppable because I’m the best player out there but because nobody can stop how hard I am going to work. The one thing I have complete and utter control over. I may not have control over everything that happens to me in this life but I can control how much effort/work I put out there or leave out there for the last time in my career. I just want to have that one chance to be 100 percent healthy and leave everything in me out on that court. I want what every athlete wants.. to end that childish, fantasy of a dream with no regrets knowing I gave it everything i had. That I used my God given talents and blessings in every way possible. 

It’s not just about basketball either. It’s about the platform you find yourself on to see all the more people you are able to reach, to help, to get to know, to be friends with, to become a role model for. I enjoy that aspect. I’m one of those people who lead by actions, not really words. So what better way to have my actions seen than by stumbling, crawling, and clawing my way up to that platform. You have to earn it right? The people up there shouldn’t just get to take the escalator. They should have to take the stairs… or better yet rock climb that baby. That way you know the people in view of everyone and their kids actually deserve to be there. That they had to work for it.

Either way i’m not quite ready to give it and grow up. I prefer to delay the inevitable curse of growing up. I know that day will come sometime. If that day comes soon so be it, I gave all i had. But I don’t want to live an average life. I want to live a vibrant life full of color, energy, blessings, adventures; endless amounts of knowledge, friends, and languages. I want to live a life outside the box, a shape of it’s own making. Cheers to each one of us being the writers, artists, architects of our own lives!

   

“ Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to it’s not for them. “

“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the detail of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” 

– Ernest Hemingway

“Life is unpredictable. 

It changes with the seasons,

Even your coldest winter,

Happens for the best of reasons,

And though it feels eternal,

Like all you’ll ever do is freeze,

I promise spring is coming,

And with it, brand new leaves.”

-e.h.

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

Dancing the Fine Lines

It’s been a minute. I guess I felt like my summer was just so monotonous to write about. I was dedicated to rehabbing, working out as much as I was allowed, enjoying time with friends and family, giving lessons to kids in my hometown, and had a camp of my own in my hometown. Now I am off beginning another adventure.

             I was super positive the first 4 months of recovery and then on the 5th month I hit a wall. I had a bad attitude every time I went in to rehab with my old ISU trainer, Denise. I didn’t want to be there; I wanted to be on the court playing already. If you ever have someone in your life who isn’t family but they are always willing to help you out no matter what, be sure to show them how much you appreciate them. Denise was busy with all her other injured athletes and still found time to help me through my rehab. She is a wonderful, wonderful person. She would even text me back after my surgery in Australia at 4 am Iowa time if I had an emergency question. I felt kind of alone over there after my surgery and she helped me get by. I am very blessed to have people like her in my life.

            Rehab was like studying for an exam but it seems like the day of the test will never come. And you have to push yourself every day because nobody else is going to do that for you. You’re in charge of your own destiny. Doesn’t matter if you’re in a good mood or bad mood that day.  The thing about having knee surgery is that you go from working out every day for hours at a time to not working out at all. You have to find a way to stay somewhat in shape because your career rests on it. I had to sometimes bail out on friends in the summer in order to maintain my focus. I couldn’t go out very much and if I did I was that sober friend at the bar. And let’s be honest nobody likes that sober friend at the bar to remember all the stupid things everyone else does. Not everyone understands when people have to sacrifice for something they love. Not everyone understands why your doing what your doing. There’s a fine line between going after your dream and enjoying/ living your life in the present. I was doing a very delicate dance on that line all summer. There’s a lot of peer pressure, a lot of temptation, a lot of frustration, and sometimes even a lot of doubt playing at your heart. But when it comes down to it, your true friends will still be there in the end. And I don’t regret it one bit. 

            The day of the test is pretty much here now. I am now in Lublin, Poland. The first week was a struggle. I didn’t know what to expect exactly. I had only been to Australia and didn’t know how exactly my team here would handle things. There are two other Americans on my team. The first of the struggles started when I landed in Poland. My luggage apparently didn’t make it there with me. Even after pestering two workers on if my bags would connect. I stood by the baggage carousel watching it go around saying to myself “don’t worry they are coming.” I was in denial. I even stood there looking at the baggage carousel for a bit after it stopped. Haha It was a long trip and to not have hardly any of my belongings was a rough start. Then I went to the lost luggage place. The guy then proceeded to ask me all these questions that I didn’t have the answers to… yet. Such as “What’s the address of where you are staying?” or “What’s the phone number we can reach you at?” The person with those answers was just outside waiting for me but I couldn’t get to him. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t kind of want to cry just a wee little bit. Luckily I found a random phone number in an old email and gave it to the man. No tears were shed.

            We then took a long drive to Lublin from Warsaw. We stopped by a restaurant where we couldn’t read the menu. So the guy with us ordered for us something he said was chicken with some butter. It turned out to be something like chicken wrapped around a stick of butter and fried. It literally spurted out butter and had a hole in the center for the stick of butter. Not the best meal I’ve ever had but oh well. There are worse things.

            The other two Americans, Hannah Luburgh and Dara Taylor, live together about a few blocks away from me. They might of had it a little worse than me the first night and to top it off it’s their first year overseas so they didn’t quite know what to expect. Poor girls. They had to dry off from showers with their own clothes because there weren’t any towels. Also, they didn’t have any blankets or pillows for the first night and had to sleep in their warmest clothes. I only could complain about the baby-sized shower in my apartment and the lack of clothing/other hygiene necessities. Things gradually have been getting better though don’t get me wrong. I got my luggage 2 days after arriving. They got some blankets, pillows and towels. All is well. The struggle is still real.

            Our team has two a days over here.  One morning practice and one evening practice. Let’s just say it’s the most I’ve just jumped into doing physically in about 7 months. And to top it off we had a tournament a few days after arriving. My knee was swollen, my hip was in pain from compensating, and I got some nasty blisters on my feet due to the lack of calluses on them. It was a weekend for limping up and down the court. Even my other American teammates were struggling physically. Our coach said he just thought I was out of shape. -__- Half my days were just me rehabbing/icing to get ready for the next day. I officially know how to say, “ice please” in Polish. One of my favorites.

            After the rough tournament we drove 5 hours back to Lublin. Apparently after games here, we go to the spa when we get back. We go to the pool, hot tub, sauna, and ice room if we wish to. I am very fond of this tradition they have. Except for the fact that there are grown men sitting around the sauna area with nothing but a towel on and the accidental seeing of things you shouldn’t EVER have to see occurs. I am scarred for life.

            Things have gotten a lot better so far. There is nothing that a glass of wine every night can’t help you through. We just got a vehicle today. We are free! Woo!

We also live not to far from the shopping center. Our teammates all kind of understand English. The locals don’t all speak it. So we work with hand gestures a lot of the time.

            Tonight was the first night of practice that I actually felt somewhat like my old self. To know your potential but not be able to physically get there again is one of the most mentally challenging things for an athlete. To not be able to rebound as well as I once did. To come back into the game of basketball and always somewhat be scared in the back of your mind that someone might knock knees with you again. Slightly afraid every time someone cheap shots you or falls on you. Playing timid is just the start of getting back to what I once was. Trying to prove to your new team and your new coach that you were worth the risk of them giving you a chance. Once again I’m dancing that fine line. But it’s a different line this time. It’s the line of pushing myself to prove my worth and taking care of my body the best way I know how. Good thing I’ve got plenty of experience in the physical therapy department. 

Tonight at practice I felt good. I felt almost as quick as I used to be, almost as confident, and it felt almost as good as it used to feel. It’s just a process and I have to be patient and take it day by day. I’ve done what I can and will leave the rest to God. Life is full of those fine lines and all we can do is dance them the best way we know how. 

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. “

                                – Matthew 6:34