Updated: Apr 20, 2020
Disclaimer: I’m not writing this blog for people to feel sorry for me.
However, I trained over a year for a goal and didn’t achieve it.
A year ago today was bitter sweet. Bitter because I had a serious knee surgery, sweet because I was drafted into the WNBA. I knew going into it that it would be a long road to recovery but I was ready and willing if that's what I needed to do to reach my lifelong dream of playing in the WNBA.
I’ve come back strong from two ACL injuries, the meniscus wasn’t too bad, the scope was nothing, one more can’t be that hard right? A 9-12 month recovery? Easy! Bet I can probably speed that up a couple months, maybe catch a short overseas season before heading to the WNBA.
I thought I had the blueprint for success.
Months one-four: Internship. Do early stages of rehab in Chicago and get some work experience while I’m at it. Check!
Months five-twelve: Move to Durham and hit it hard in rehab. Continue physical therapy at Duke, train like a crazy person and by the end, be in tip top shape for the WNBA!
If only it were that easy. Turns out I wasn’t quite prepared for just how long or frustrating it would actually be. I did everything right. Listened to my doc, ice bathed every day, yoga, ate healthy, protein shakes, you name it. Heck I even started eating cottage cheese (y'all its actually so good).
I had a plan. I had a huge calendar in my room. I planned my weeks out in advance and wrote my workouts and physical therapy schedule for each day.
But for me that was my method for tracking my progress and how much time I had before my end goal: WNBA training camp.
PT, Lift, Basketball, repeat. There’s no telling how much time I spent in the weight room and the gym. I started to try and calculate it but then got overwhelmed so I stopped…but just know it was A LOT.
I was a fly on the wall for a year. I thought I’d be at Duke until January then head overseas. Then January turned into April and I was still rehabbing.
"Hey Becca, whatcha up to?" Rehab.
"Where ya heading?" Rehab.
"You’re still here?!" Yep... rehab.
Physical therapy can be very monotonous, especially when you’ve gone through several long recoveries. I know just about every knee strengthening exercise in the book.
I started to fall in love with the process. Small improvements each day got me so excited.
The more tired or sore I was after a workout, the happier I was. I did stationary ball handling for nearly six months. Yes, six months! Do you know how boring that is? I wasn’t allowed to run until I was seven months post-op. So of course, when I started basketball workouts, I was ecstatic.
I thought I was in a great spot at first, but then it kept getting closer and closer. I quickly realized the overseas basketball idea was not realistic, but I had no doubt I’d still be ready come May for the WNBA. A full year to recover? I’d have all the time in the world! But the closer it got the more I realized, I may not be ready. I tried to deny it at first.
One day I’d be feeling great, the next I’d be hurting pretty good. It’s been a constant roller coaster filled with excitement and hope but also doubt and fear.
I’ve always been a very hard worker, so I naturally assumed if I did everything right, I’d be able to push my rehab along quicker, like I have in the past. But this time physiology stepped in and said: "you thought!!".
Then I went to DC to train with the Washington Mystics. It was then I realized I was further off than I thought.
I met with the coaches, toured the city and worked out with Elena Delle Donne and Natasha Cloud, two extremely talented players and cool people. The facilities were great, coaches were great, city was great, just a perfect situation to be in. Did I mention my favorite color is red? Long story short, I loved it.