God is the Key

Alexis Gray, Staff Writer

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Athletic injuries may break a person’s ambition and spirit. They often do. But not for Lydia Acuna. Lydia had to give up playing basketball, and potentially every other sport, because of an unfortunate injury. However, she didn’t give up her love of the game.

The injury happened the second basketball game of her freshman season. Lydia jumped up to rebound the ball, but as she came down, sharp pains shot throughout her back. Another player’s knee collided with her lower spine. Four months after the injury, Lydia still had severe back pains. Her parents took her to the hospital, and the doctor requested an MRI.

“You have two bulging disks. I’m sorry, but you cannot play basketball anymore,” Dr. Heines said.

She felt as if her passion was gone. She didn’t think she could cope with not being able to play sports. After the horrible news about her back, Lydia sobbed for days.

“I was devastated. I thought of how I could not jump as high as I wanted. My life is over, or so I thought,” she said.

Lydia felt useless. She tried to pretend that she was happy, but deep inside she was not. Her parents tried to help her cope with words of encouragement. They tried to motivate her on the road to recovery, but no one could get through to her.

“The hardest thing about my injury was accepting that I couldn’t play basketball anymore.”

Her faith was tested. Lydia didn’t understand why something like this was happening. She was only a freshman. The rest of her high school career waited ahead of her. “Why me?” she asked every night.

“I repeatedly blamed God for what He had done to me, but if it wasn’t for my back I wouldn’t have grown in other aspects of my life. God put people in my life who inspired and encouraged me.”

Her injury helped her to grow in her faith and helped her focus on important stuff other than basketball. She finally recognized the bigger picture. She had more time to focus on her spirituality. She had more time for God.

“My advice for any injured player is to look at the broader side of life. Keep pushing through the pain. Never give up.”

She had a hard road of accepting that she couldn’t play anymore. Basketball was a part of her life for so long. It was her identity. But she accepted her injury and learned from it. She learned that if something is taken away from you, you will adapt and find new things to fulfill your needs.

“God has put me through this trial in my life because it was important. It was necessary. I needed to know my life without sports. I needed to know what God meant to me and how I embrace Him in my life. I have more time for my one true God.”

Lydia didn’t let sports define her. She chose how to find her identity in other ways. She made time for God. But most importantly, she made time for herself.