I am pretty agile as an athlete, but sometimes accidents happen. They are usually minor mishaps that only require a bit of rest and a day or two off from basketball. Recently, however, it was a more serious injury requiring some medical attention. I went to a sports doctor who provided a thorough examination, including a look at the leg muscle tear. I hadn’t been for a full checkup in years, so I noted all the extra attention to my general health. To look into my eyes, he used the coolest medical penlight I have ever seen. It was bright shiny metal and easily activated with a button on the bottom. With one touch it would go on, while with two it grew more intense. I went searching on the internet and found it here: https://www.wardheroes.com/best-medical-penlight-doctors-nurses/. I can see that this device far surpasses normal penlights, like the small one I keep in my car to read paper maps or find something in the glove compartment.
I was pleased to hear that all was well and that the tear would heal in a week at most. It would not impede my ability to play in the future. I know that some basketball players are finished if the Achilles tendon snaps. It isn’t a matter of being more careful. You just have to do your best. I always warm up as recommended by the coach. It came as a surprise to me when I had a tough day and ended up in the doctor’s office. He said, “Fortunately, the young heal fast.” I count my lucky stars! Not all athletes are so lucky; even some of my teammates have to take off for the rest of the season now and then.
There is more to my story to tell. I was inspired by the North America Outgames in 2011 to come out to my teammates. It is a great feeling to be treated as an equal as both a teammate and as a lesbian. I wanted to start a blog to support and encourage other LBGT athletes in my hometown of Vancouver and also around the world. My message is that no matter what your orientation or how you identify yourself, you are a valued member of a team and a respected athlete. The world of sports has changed dramatically from decades ago. Let’s celebrate this progress!
Meanwhile, I am gaining notoriety in the area which will certainly help my cause. As word gets out, more and more people come to the fore to offer their assistance in promoting my mission. Good publicity is a godsend when you have a message to deliver. I am open to interviews of any type during which I can speak my truth to those willing to listen, sports fans or not. I was particularly pleased recently to play in a tournament to fund LBGT athletes in the area. I am glad to live in a more liberal time and to have better opportunities than my forerunners. The abandonment of stigmas is a blessing to those in my shoes, which happen to be Adidas.