It’s been a while since I have blogged. This is due to many reasons; I was super busy over the summer, school has been hectic but I think most importantly it is because I have been struggling with this one significant question… Who am I?
I just recently found out that the source of all my pain has been from an acetabular labral tear. It means that I have trouble sitting for long periods, walking, climbing stairs, biking and running. I have had to give up my sport, since I can no longer do anything that it requires. Field hockey has been something that I have loved playing for eight years. I loved the bliss of stopping someone dead in their tracks while trying to score, and the little butterflies I felt while lining up before a short corner. I loved the freedom of running up the pitch and making a killer pass. Basically I just loved everything about it and now that I can’t play it is extremely difficult.
Being an athlete has high value in my family. Both my parents, my brother and myself have always excelled in sports and just love to play them. It is something that has made us very close, through all the travel time to practices and games to playing friendly rounds of golf with all of them. I know that being injured is completely out of my control and everyone tells me they love me the same regardless of whether I am playing a sport or not. But that is something that I am currently struggling with myself, coming to the terms of no longer being an athlete.
Being an athlete has always been a large part of my identity and now it’s no longer a part of me. The past year has been marked by many struggles through the pain and frustration of trying to get a diagnosis and figure out whether I can play or not. Now that I finally have my diagnosis I am truly uncertain if I will ever be able to play again. But of more concern is whether I will ever be given the freedom to no longer feel this excruciating pain.
Either way I know I now need to begin the journey of finding my new identity without sport. It is extremely challenging and I’m still learning to cope with the loss of sport and now I need to rebuild my identity no longer around being an athlete but instead around being a child of God, a daughter, a friend and a student.
So it’s been a while since my last post. I want to apologize for that it’s been so long because I have been busy travelling!
I spent a week in London sight seeing and relaxing after exams before coming to study at a beautiful castle in England. London was amazing! The city was always filled with different things to see and do. I was also lucky enough to get to go on a trip to Stonehenge which was incredible. It still blows my mind how such HUGE stones were dragged across such a long distance. Seeing them up close really confirmed my absolute shock that such an astonishing feat could be accomplished.
So now onto the school topic, I am studying an interdisciplinary course in Global Health and Disabilities Studies. I feel so blessed to be studying such an amazing course in such an incredible place (the Castle!). Our first night of the course, a guest speaker came in. He was a Great British paralympian, his story was incredible and his outlook on life was something I really want to start to implement more. His phrase was regardless of what you have you should use what you have and not just think about what you dont. In his context he was saying that he started to focus on the 1/3 of his body he could use and not the 2/3 of his body he couldn’t.
His openness and vulnerability was something that I have been trying to work on achieving on a regular basis. As such I was amazed at how honest he could be with us while talking about some of his highest and lowest points in life. This is something that I am working on myself and most of the reason I started the blog in the first place. So seeing this actually happen from someone I don’t know is super inspiring to me and has reminded me of my original goal for this blog.
The first course I’m taking is one in collaborative interprofessional education. So far it seems super interesting. My class is really small and every three hour lecture seems more like a discussion than a lecture and time seems to just fly while I’m in class. So it seems that school here will be great! This is the first time I’ve been so excited about a course in school for a long time. It probably have to do with the fact that I can see this being extremely applicable come graduation.
I am super excited to see where this course may lead me in my future.
I just got back from chuch, which once again proved to be an extremely meaningful sermon for me. My church is doing a series called “Botox Church” investigating 1Corinthians books 1-4. Today we were looking at chapter 3:1-9.
In this we got talking about how we are all servants for God and that we need to remember that we can’t do everything. This particular part of the sermon struck me the hardest because he reminded me that I can’t be everything to anyone person. I only have a certain amount of talents that God gave me to use and after that I need to trust that other people will touch them and continue to give them what they need. This is what God’s network looks like and I completely forgot that it couldn’t be all done by me.
For now I’ve realized that I can continue to help people by using my skills and talents but that I also need to let go of people and let other people grow them as well.
As a specific example, my boyfriend who I love and care for deeply, I am always trying to be the only one who he needs. But now I’ve realized that it is okay for others to serve him as well as for me to. I think this will allow for both of us to continue to grow as I learn to take a step back from serving him. It’s not that I won’t continue to love and serve him but just that I need to understand that other can also do the same thing and serve him in different ways than me. Also I feel that this can strengthen our relationship as I can relax from only serving him, which I know that sometimes trying to help him grow turns into me just nagging. I’m pretty sure he will be happy for me to stop nagging him as much.
I’m also sure that I can apply this to every other relationship around me as I continue to learn how to step back from trying to serve everyone everything.
So being in exams now, I’ve come to understand that I tend to sabotage myself within the realms of school. Having an anxiety disorder I have realized that I have been hiding under that identification. I’ve been using my anxiety as an excuse for not performing well. I no longer try my hardest because I am scared that if I don’t do as well as I thought I would that my anxiety would once again take control of me.
That being said I feel like I’m now sabotaging myself because I’ve accepted that getting grades below what I actually deserve is okay. And what happens when I want to apply to grad school and these are the grades I have to show? I can’t use my anxiety as an excuse then.
So with help from God I am going to try and stop sabotaging myself. I know that God wants me to perform my best. So that is what I’m going to try to do from now on. I’m no longer going to let my anxiety disorder rule my life. God doesn’t want that and neither do I, I want to use all the gifts that God has given me and use them to their fullest. I know I’m disappointed in myself now after coming to this realization that I have been hiding from doing my best so I’m no longer going to allow that to happen.
“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” —Proverbs 12:25
My whole life I’ve been an athlete. Always been an athlete first and whatever else comes second (ie. student, daughter etc.) My whole life has been working up towards my goal of being a varsity athlete. I accomplished that goal and for the past two years have been on a varsity field hockey team.
I have only played in a handful of games. Why haven’t I been playing? Is a question I’ve asked myself on an almost daily basis. Is it because I’m not good enough? Or is it for some other reason? The answer to this question I struggle with. I like to equate my lack of playing time to my string of chronic injuries. But before the injuries, I was a rookie and not playing. There seems to always be an excuse as to why I can’t play.
This injury may be my last straw to being able to play. No one can figure out what is wrong with me, so now I’m waiting for yet another appointment with a different doctor. This has been quite a test of my patience and I’m starting to believe God no longer wants me to play a sport.
It seems like God doesn’t want me to figure out what is wrong with my hips so that he can use me in some way other than in sport. Although I’m starting to come to terms with the end of my athletic career there are still tons of ups and downs. It’s scary to think that what I’ve identified as over my life is probably coming to an end, I am excited to see what new doors will be opened up to me.
Having recently visited the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. I have become certain that God is amazing and that what he has in store for us is more than we could ever imagine. This place reminded me that the beauty we witness on Earth will not ever measure what we will witness once we’re in Heaven.