As an elite athlete, my life revolves around training and competing. I train 6 hours a day, and participate in all sorts of world ranking events. However, 2015 is when I hit my all time low.
I was on a roll, winning all competitions and training my heart out to get a spot for the 2015 Pan American Games. I was chosen and was so excited. However, two months before, I broke my ankle and tore my ligament at the same time during practice. I lost my spot on the national team, the international team, and my dream of representing my country at the games.
My doctor told me that he wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to perform again, which threw me into a huge depression. I couldn’t walk for two months and needed multiple surgeries, so the physical pain just added to my hopelessness. I didn’t want to get out of bed, and all I wanted to do was to get back into practice and forget about my injury. But I couldn’t. I would find myself filling a bathtub with hot water and soaking my bad ankle in it just so I can feel something. I would sit there until the water got cold, crying because I had to give up everything I worked for in the last 10 years. It only got worse when I realized I would not be considered for the Rio Olympic Games due to my injuries.
I felt trapped and I couldn’t do anything to help myself. I lost my appetite, and my drive to get better since the recovery was painstakingly slow. I would isolate myself in my room, and spend the day sleeping, crying, thinking that I would never be able to perform again, just as the doctor said. I lost my motivation.
It picked up when my coach came for a visit and attended all my physical therapies with me. Slowly, very slowly, I was gaining strength in my foot and the ability to walk without pain. That turned into jumping, which turned into running, and eventually I came back after five months into my sport.
I’ll never forget how desperate and lost I felt when I lost my chance to compete, to even walk! The psychological pain was worse than the physical, and the recovery is still happening today. Sometimes I refuse to do a certain technique because I’m afraid of hurting myself and going back to how I felt.