My Journey: looking ahead

Updated: Mar 10

After my transfer to UK, I was excited to start training with a new team & new coach. For the first few weeks, I began to get into a routine and was starting to feel more comfortable. During one of my workouts early February, I started noticing a pain in my right foot, which is the same foot that kept me out last season with a stress fracture. I immediately told my trainers about it to be on the safe side, but didn’t think too much of it at first. I thought it could just be irritation from the scar tissue where I just started training in spikes again. About two weeks of nothing but bike workouts went by and my foot didn’t feel any better. So, my trainer decided to have me see one of the athletic doctors here on campus. The doctor felt as though my foot could be presenting as another stress fracture and she sent me for an X-Ray the next day.

“Oh that’s more than a stress fracture.”

Hearing the nurse who took my X-Rays say this caught me off guard. Thoughts were running through my head, “Another broken bone? How is this happening, you’ve gotta be kidding me.” But sure enough, I fractured my 2nd metatarsal and there’s a stress fracture in my 3rd (again). The recovery time as of now is looking like a minimum of 10 weeks.

Fracture in the 2nd metatarsal of my right foot.

While hearing this news was incredibly frustrating, and honestly still is, I’m trying to focus on maintaining a positive attitude. Injuries have not been on my side since starting college. I have probably spent just as much time injured as I have healthy as a college athlete. I believe this could be caused by numerous things:

  1. I didn’t train for track in high school, so it’s been a shock to my body.

  2. I was previously training on a concrete surface quite a bit, which can cause stress fractures.

  3. I have a condition called PCOS, and a symptom of this is weak bones.

  4. I have always avoided dairy growing up, so it is possible this could have an affect on my bones.

Whatever the cause is, I can’t change that now. All I can do is be patient and try to strengthen other areas of my body. I’ve been focusing on my core as well as trying to manipulate my diet a little bit to help in certain areas. I’m also choosing to use this time to focus on other areas of my life.

Since being on UK’s campus, I have been hired by the UK SEC Network. My dream job is to be a sports reporter. I would love to work on the sideline of college or maybe even professional games one day. I worked a UK Baseball game this past weekend, where I was in the control room on the replay screen. I’m excited to learn more about everything that goes into broadcasting sporting events and how to work all the equipment in the control room and how to work the cameras.

At UK Baseball Game, March 2019, with the one and only Doug Flynn.

Throughout this injury, Jeremiah 29:11 has stood out to me. I know God has a plan for me and I know He would not have brought me to this point to leave me or not see His plan through. I am continuing to trust in Him despite the injury. Injuries can be extremely frustrating, but a lot of times they can be blessings in disguise and we may get something else out of life during this time that we would’ve otherwise overlooked.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11

Last week, my grandfather, Kenneth Smith, passed away. He was a great positive influence on me and played such a big role in my life. He always encouraged me to keep going. No matter how hard things were or how much I felt like I couldn’t do something, my grandad always made me feel like I could. He taught me so much about the game of basketball. I can’t even begin to count the many hours he spent in the gym with me and my brother, Jacob. He would rebound for us and help us with our form or ball handling skills. He also really enjoyed watching me run. He was so supportive and no matter what we were doing growing up, he wanted to be there to cheer us on.

My grandad was 81 years old when he died. His birthday is August 17th, just one day before mine. October 2016, my senior year of high school, he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of prostate cancer. The doctors gave him only a few short months to live. Like I said before, though, my grandad isn’t one to give up. He kept fighting and fighting. He lived almost 3 years after that. I will never forget all that my grandfather taught me. I miss him so much, but I’m so thankful for all the wonderful memories I have with him and I will carry them with me as I move forward.

With grandad after my high school graduation ceremony, May 2017.

Experiencing so many life changes in a few short months, it has been easy for me to feel discouraged or confused. However, I am really happy with recent the choices I have made. So many new and exciting things are in front of me. I know that I am on a path with God, and taking that path is always the right choice.

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