Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Positive mental attitude is crucial when it comes to season-ending injuries

Earlier in the week, I heard Chagrin Falls' 6-foot-5 junior forward Hallie Thome possibly suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury.
As soon as I heard this, I thought of my younger sister Kelly, a talented basketball player back in her day at Lorain Catholic High School, who suffered an ACL injury her junior year.
At the time, the injury was devastating for our entire close-knit family.
Our world stopped, and we were focused on my sister who was the top player on her team at the time of the accident.
My sister eventually underwent surgery, therapy and returned even stronger her senior year.
On Tuesday night, I was disappointed to hear from Chagrin Falls coach Brittany Anderson that Thome tore her ACL.
All I could think was: "Why do injuries like this happen to athletes who are at the top of their game?"
Thome is a Division I recruit who is being sought after at by every major program in the country. Through six games, she was the team leader in scoring (19.8 per game), rebounding (9.8) and blocks (2.7). The Tigers, the defending Division II Andover District champions, were expected to advance deep into the postseason. How will they be able to do this without Thome?
To give Thome a little encouragement, I mentioned her in one of my tweets this afternoon and wished her a speedy recovery.
About five minutes later, she responded to me with this tweet:

awe thank you! No worries I'm fine and it will all work out! I'm just entering the new year with a new ACL! Lol Thanks again!

Her tweet made me pause and think of the determination and resileance strong people display when adversity comes their way.
Thome is having surgery next week and is expected to be out for six to nine months. The bad news is, she won't be back this year. The good news is, she'll be back next year and she's still a Division I recruit.
Maybe the injury will give her time to narrow her college choices? Maybe her injury will help her appreciate her basketball skills that much more? Maybe, the adversity she is facing will make her a stronger person?
I don't know the answers to those questions, but I do know Thome is tackling her injury with a positive mental attitude that will be key to a speedy recovery. A supportive personal family and basketball family also helps.
With Christmas and a New Year just a few days away, Thome's injury and the memory of my sister's injury remind me not to take things for granted because at any moment, your life can change.
It's how you deal with the ups and downs of life that make you the person you are.
So try to maintain a PMA no matter what you are facing - whether it's a season-ending injury, the loss of a job or the loss of a loved one.
Everything happens for a reason.
Tomorrow is a new day.

-Theresa Neuhoff Audia

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just came across this, Theresa - thank you so much! Hallie is doing great - she amazes me every day! And I think you're right - like your sister, she'll come out of this stronger and more appreciative of her talent and blessings on and off the court! Thanks for the kind words and encouragement - they go a long way for all of us! - Christine Thome

January 3, 2014 at 2:38 PM 

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