“You know it’s not fair that I’ve worked so hard, and everything is just gone in the matter of seconds.”
“That’s life. You can earn tons of money, have huge house and a great family, and then you die the next day.”
“That’s true. But.. I really worked so hard for this…”
“Nothing in this world is fair, and you live to die anyway.”
17 seconds. That was the last I saw on the game clock. I remember driving hard to the left to attempt to score a quick basket because the stupid coach kept telling them I’m a right hander. Then I saw 3 defenders. I lost the ball slightly. I felt a nudge. Felt my right leg caving in, in the wrong angle. Felt the weirdest snap in my knee. Fell. Tried to get up because I hate wincing like a weakling on court. Only to be hit by the most excruciating pain I’ve ever felt in my life.
“WTF. Don’t tell me my last season ends in such a pathetic fashion?”
“WTF. I’m in HONG KONG LEH.”
These were the first 2 thoughts that surfaced in my mind, but of course not in such grammatically sane sentences. Can’t think anymore. My right calf was just numb. My leg feels paralyzed. My knee was exploding in pain. Is this what they mean when they say paralyzed with pain? Deep breathing x 2. Hey, it feels a little better. Oh fuck. No. And it was the worst physical struggle to actually roll myself on to my back. Got to the bench, and then it struck me that, all that I’ve done to gear me towards my very last Sunig seemed irrelevant right now. There was just no Sunig to talk about. And, being a loser, I just cried so hard, until I realized that the game has already ended.
Ever since the last season ended, I never stopped working out because I wanted to be stronger for the upcoming season. I just didn’t want to let my fitness that have been built up through training waste away. Forced myself to wake up at 7 during the exam period, just to work out to fit everything into my schedule. Switched my routines to involve crazy amounts of circuit training and tabata, and going for runs at night, just to make sure that I kept up with not just strength, but cardiovascular fitness. I hated panting like a dog, and going dizzy with the intensity. But I knew it would all be worth it. Being fitter meant I wouldn’t struggle as much in training, and reducing the risk of injuring myself when summer training started.
I did not work on anything basketball related, ironically. Because I was afraid I would be working on the wrong stuff, and getting my countless of bad habits ingrained even further, like my shooting form. I set my mind to absorb as much as I could when training started again, improve on the poor fundamentals and be a bigger threat for the team.
I have never been more excited to play in an overseas competition until this BIG. We’ve played HKU before, and they were worthy opponents. In fact, I was looking forward to every game because I know they will pose a different challenge for us, an experience that we will not be able to get in Singapore, and we will definitely improve as a team.
My mother asked me if I regretted going on this trip. Getting myself wrecked in our very first game, with exactly 5 (FIVE WTF FIVE) seconds to go, and going through all that shitty medical procedures later. I don’t. Not a tinge of regret. We may not have won the competition (AS USUAL). I’m glad we screwed up, and had the opportunity to thrash things out, just to get to know each other better on court and off court. The greatest take away of this trip was, seeing how the captains in the team stepped up to the plate to lead the team. This reassured me that the decision we made was right, and that it was a sign from heaven that I should be a talent scout in future and earn a lot of money.
Honestly, I have wanted to pass the captaincy to JM for the longest while, but never did till recently, because we felt that she was too nice (albeit damn bloody bitchy) and quiet (OMG?!) to actually lead the team. I’m glad I finally did, because seeing her bringing the team together through this trip, and helping the team work out our differences on court, puts a smile on my face and let me know that my job is done here.
The last week had been the longest week of my life, and I was deprived of the opportunity to put a closure to this premature ending to my season, and perhaps, career. I’ve always planned to end my career on a high in this upcoming sunig, and just leave basketball for good to concentrate on more adult responsibilities. This injury has caused me more pain emotionally than physically.
For the past 7 days, every day had been a struggle to put a smile on my face and pretend that I’m happy with the rank of being the Honorary Advisor of the team. Haha what the fuck. It fucking hurts in every single video session and team talk, knowing that all these shit are no longer relevant to me. Ever. Just because of a stupid fall that happened in a matter of seconds. The countless times I had to prevent myself from tearing up at games, and feeling so helpless, because you knew what you could contribute to the team, but you can’t, and the fact that you’ll never have the chance to play alongside these amazing individuals, in the team that have grown so much and changed over the 4 years.
Every night when I close my eyes, the scene just keeps replaying in my head, making me wonder if I’m actually suffering from PTSD. Unbelievable. And I hated moments when I am alone, even at the closing ceremony.. Tears just well up in my eyes uncontrollably, no matter how much I tell myself that it’s okay, and it’s REALLY okay. It’s so tough. Basketball has always been part of me, and part of my life. I hate training, I hate being tired. But I hate not being able to train, even more.
Last night, when I finally got home, and finally had all the time to myself, I just cried like a stupid shit for god knows how long. When I thought that things would get better from last night, every now and then since, like literally now, the plumbing works are still faulty, and I just cried a river while typing this.
Of course, I know that everything has its bright side as well. Despite being an emotional wreck, and a cripple, this injury has been quite an experience for me! Like honestly. I got to ride an ambulance, IN HONG KONG!! How bloody cool. I even took a selfie with Kynneth in the ambulance. NO MATTER HOW PAIN ALSO MUST TAKE.
I got to talk nonsense to the paramedics who were so amused because I told them the only cantonese words I knew were siew mai and har gao. Talking cock is my talent because I can still do it despite being in SO MUCH FREAKING PAIN, especially when the ambulance goes over a hump or a bumpy road.
I also got to experience the horrible service by the doctor at A&E after a 3 hour wait, and have my knee stuck in the position that I fell in for 2 whole days. And forced to walk on an old man walking stick, which was the most fucking stupid idea ever, and very, very, very, very fucking painful. I remember needing to pee at 3am on the night of the injury, and I just.. Could not get up. Not with that pokfulam walking stick. Then I also experienced being treated like royalty here in the private hospital. So cool. And being wheeled around like a kid again. Also, the CAFETERIA in the hospital is actually as atas as a din tai fung restaurant. I also got to see 3 syringes of blood being drained from my knee! COOL SHIT. It was after draining then the doctor realized that I might have tore my ligament. UH. NOT SO SMART, DOCTOR.
Got my first experience at the fucking loud MRI machine as well. And then coming out to my beloved friends, who delivered egg tarts over. Thank you Eddie, Gerrard and Wan Xin! Seriously love you guys to the moon and back. Spending the rest of my crippled days with the most amazing team mates, and the 3 of them who made sure I was safe everyday, and never fail to accompany me for amazing food. Times spent with you guys were the best parts of this journey! Here’s a behind the scenes picture of our McD’s delivery. Thank you chiobufairy, jiamin and jiale for the love. Seriously, I can’t thank you guys enough and our insanity was the only thing that kept me sane throughout the trip.
And of course, getting the love and mockery by the 2 people who have impacted my life so much for the past 4 years in the team, Yao and Ms Tan. Don’t ever think you guys would see this, but I’m just really thankful for the guidance I’ve received since I stepped into NUS. I’m truly thankful for you guys for opening my eyes to the world of basketball, and bursting my bubble of ego that I’ve been living in for the first 9 years of my career. I look back on my career and realized what a little punk I had been. Thinking that I’m on the top of the world because I can drive into 3 defenders and score. Because I can bunny hop between 2 defenders (which usually ends up in a turnover. But I only remember the good times). Because I can fast break. I can’t imagine how you guys had the ability to change me to someone who was so reckless, who can NEVER shoot (and NEVER believe I could), and don’t think on court, to a slightly better version of me, today. Seriously, I NEVER. NEVER shoot in games. Not even in year 2. Because every ball released is just going to be an airball or it will just hit the board and fly away, yet now I’m someone who takes her shots and some times even have more confidence in my shots than drives. Thank you for your patience, and making me realize that I needed more arsenal in my offense, and for forcing me to defend because I never did. It’s been a long and arduous journey, I know it took me long enough to see my imperfections and flaws, but thank you for standing by me to keep me motivated even at the most frustrating times.
Also, thank you for going through so much shit to get my crutches for me, and accompanying me when I’m alone. As much as I’ve been mocked at by Ms Tan, more than by anyone else, thank you for the many deep conversations like the one at the start of my post. You’ve taught me more than just basketball, you’ve taught me so much about life, because everything you say just makes so much sense. I could never thank you two enough. I’m just glad our lives crossed paths, and I’m beyond lucky to have not only 2 basketball coaches, but also mentors in life.
Oh and through this, I got a chance to witness atrophy on my own body, and watch my foot swell like a balloon. This is how much my muscles have shrunk after 1 week, and that’s just BEYOND cool, and fucking heartwrenching. You know how much I jumped and sprinted to get such thunder thighs?!
The other positive from this experience is learning to celebrate little victories in life, like being able to straighten my leg a little more each day, having lesser pain as the days go by, and being able to walk on a single crutch. These make me genuinely happy and motivated, and I hope it lasts for the next year.
I’ve an extremely long road ahead of me. Surgery, rehab and thesis. I can’t wait to work out again, I can’t wait to walk and run again, and I can’t wait to get back on court again. If I ever do decide on playing competitively, I’ll come back stronger than ever, and work on my fundamentals in the longest break I’ve ever taken in the entire 12 years of my career. SERIOUSLY. I think my previous record was missing training for 2 weeks, and I cried like SHIT already. So, this is legit reason for me to mope for a longer while, but no.
I’m a grown up and I can deal with shit. HMPH.
/edit: oh shit I didn’t know people actually read my blog, thanks for the messages and yes, I tore my ACL, together with my meniscus and a partial tear on my MCL. My knee must be pretty weak shit to end up like this from just a fall.