Jayne Appel makes best of bad luck
I've always been told that there's only so much you can control in your life. Sometimes, fate just takes over, for the better -- or worse. This past offseason I focused on getting healthier and stronger, and becoming a better player overall. I took every step I possibly could to prepare my body for the WNBA season. I entered Team USA camp and San Antonio camp in the best shape I've been in in a long time. I was strong and so excited to finally be able to just play.
However, sometimes you run into bad luck and can't control how your body reacts to certain things. On the second day of camp in San Antonio, I suffered a minor tear in the meniscus in my left knee and was forced to make a decision: undergo surgery and fix it, or try to play through the pain and deal with it later. A year ago, I may have forced my body to play through it, and the tear in my knee would have gotten worse. However, I've learned from the past and now realize that it's best to jump on an injury quickly and take care of it properly to make sure it doesn't return.
It's hard to be mentally strong when you have an injury. It's so tough to miss any games or practices, because we crave playing and, of course, enjoy our sport. I missed only one game my entire four years at Stanford because I wanted to be on the court so badly. I was also pretty upset that I had spent so much time and invested so much work back into my body this offseason, and then ran into a bit of bad luck. I gave myself a couple of hours to think about how unlucky the tear was, and then told myself to get over it and get to work.
I realized that all of the work I did in the offseason was going to still pay off tremendously for this surgery. My quad was the strongest it had ever been and the rest of my body was ready to play. Now, it's only been a week since the surgery and I am already much further ahead in my rehab this time around than I was for my past two knee surgeries.
A former teammate called and reminded me how hard I had worked the past six months. This was just fate's way of making me push a little harder to get ready for the season. So while some may see it as awful luck, I have twisted it around in my head and now it's motivation to get back to the court as soon as possible. I cannot wait to be back out there in just a couple of weeks. I am more eager than anyone, and it is going to be a great season for San Antonio!