Sonya elliott recovery

I talked about believing and receiving at the Beyond Pink event last week, about how important it is to believe in ourselves, and in life, and how important it is to be willing to receive help from others. This second piece, receiving, has never been easy for me. Being independent, I have always felt like I didn’t need help, but after I was in a debilitating accident where I was hit by a train and left unable to care for myself and without my best friend and fiancé at the time by my side, I needed help.

From the doctors and the nurses who helped to save my life, to the friends and family who supported me when I didn’t want to go on living, I had help. And it was the seemingly little things that made a huge difference. The time my mom helped me shave my legs because I could no longer stand the stubbly mess that made me feel less human, the times when my brother would drop by and surprise me so we could just be together, the time I wheeled into my parents bedroom late at night crying and unable to sleep and they helped me climb between them and helped me to find some peace. There were letters from friends, and a crazy care package from Kirsten that was filled with random stuff to make me laugh like candies (and empty candy wrappers) and a Curious George Goes to the Hospital book. And there were the almost daily walks with my dad. I never wanted to go on them, to have someone put my shoes and sock on and roll me down the street in a wheel chair, but each time I was out of the house, moving in the fresh air I recovered a small part of me. Sometimes we would talk but more often than not my dad and I would move along in silence. He knew what I needed, better than I did.

We can’t do everything in life on your own. Yes, we can be strong and we should set our minds on the future, on dreams and goals that might seem beyond our reach, because if we do just that, we are capable of amazing things. Yes, we should believe in ourselves with all of our heart and soul, but we should also know that throughout our life we may need help from time to time and may even benefit from reaching out for help.

This is true in so many areas of our lives, including on the basketball court. From your time spent playing games to your preparation for the games, don’t be afraid to ask for help and be willing to receive help from others. Reach out and learn more about basketball and improve as a player by listening to your coaches and to experienced players, and even try summer camps or clinics to absorb more knowledge. Then of course take some time to practice what you’ve learned. Find an open court at the park, or community center, or YMCA or at your school and get to work.

Both believing and receiving are crucial to being a good teammate as well. You must believe in yourself and your teammates. This does not happen over night. I used to tell my players that they didn’t all have to be best friends, but they had to learn to respect and appreciate one another in order to bond as a team and to be the best that they could be, and with a lot of teambuilding activities and the willingness of the girls to open up with one another and give and receive from one another they became a true team. We supported the team concept by bringing in motivational speakers, a life coach, and by giving the girls journals where they could write down their goals. It was their teamwork, their ability to believe in one another and receive coaching and support from one anther that allowed them to become better individual players and to grow together as a team, winning their league championship and placing 6th in state.

Believing and receiving are crucial in our lives. We can over come more than we think and achieve more than we realize, and it starts with believing in ourselves. Do you have a dream? Follow it! Write down your goals and the steps you need to reach your goals and remind yourself day in and day out that you can do it, and even if you don’t believe it at first, tell yourself you are capable and worthy. Believe. And as you come upon setbacks, remember to be willing to receive. You don’t have to face life on your own, so if someone says, “Let me know if I can do anything to help.” Be ready to say YES. Do you need your dog walked? Do you need a job reference? Do you need a friend to come watch a funny movie with you? Carpool your kids? Clean your house? Be willing to receive. And this may sound crazy, but you might even consider reaching out for help. It’s not always easy, but don’t be afraid, we all need help from time to time during our lifetime.

Believing and receiving are both powerful components to growing as individuals, on and off the court, and in helping us reach our goals and finding happiness. Always Believe in You! (And don’t be afraid to ask for a little help along the way)