Lauren Baker: One bad thing doesn't always lead to another
Imagine yourself as an athlete, at the top of your game and suddenly all your work is taken away.
This summer was this first in seven years that I was unable to compete in martial arts tournaments. I had Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery in December 2018 and the recovery time was six to nine months.
I planned for it to be an emotionally tough summer. Over the years I made friends with people from across the country that I only saw on social media or at tournaments. This summer the only way I was able to watch my them compete was in videos, not in person where I could feel the energy around me.
Without my usual distraction it would have been easy to just sit around and hate life all summer, because I was not in Orlando or Washington D.C. with my team, but that is not my personality. Instead, I worked full time at my internship and continued to work with the Wellness Center and Student Life Office.
Working full time was a change, but I was able to gain more insight into running a small business and how helpful connections with other businesspeople can be.
Planning for the future and setting approximate deadlines to accomplish goals was my main distraction from missing the tournaments. Considering the plans to start my own business and build a house within the next five years, I realized that time is quickly passing. While not being able to compete did have some negative effects, it opened my eyes to more pressing, real-life things that are approaching.
I wish that I was able to be there with my teammates as they experienced both victory and defeat, but I was still able to congratulate them on their growth.