“I couldn’t breathe. I almost died,” said freshman Laura Rincon.
Passion. Hard work. Motivation. Then in the blink of an eye it’s all gone. Getting injured means you could possibly lose the biggest opportunity of your life.
Laura Rincon is a foreign exchange student from Colombia and plays tennis, but her story begins way before that. At six years old, Rincon started roller skating. Two years later, she started a career.
Rincon was on the top 10 best skaters list in Colombia. She won a Pan-American award and got a chance to go to the European tournament.
While Rincon’s future looked set in roller skating, life had other plans for her.
Two months before she had to leave for Europe, Rincon had an accident where she ran into one of the side walls of the rink and broke her chin.
“I lost the ticket for the European competition because, I mean, the recuperation was really long, so I came back, like, four months after the accident,” said Rincon.
The accident shocked her in a way that she was not able to skate anymore.
“I was ten years old when that happened, so I was really scared about it … I started missing practice and getting worse and worse, so I just hated [it] … I used to be number one in everything and then [I was] the last one.”
Sometimes the hardest part after an injury is not the physical recovery, but the motivation to keep going.
As if everything she’d been through was not enough, Rincon said the hardest part for her was going to school during her recuperation process because she needed tape on her face and the kids started bullying her.
After all that pressure, Rincon decided it was time to stop skating. However, as a “hyperactive kid,” she started looking for a new start.
“My cousin used to practice tennis, and one day I went to the practice and the coach said that I could come for free so I just came and then I started going every weekend and I loved it,” said Rincon.
According to the Tennis Coach Charity Andrews, Rincon has a really good background of tennis achievement awards.
“[Rincon] is a hard worker. I mean, she definitely strikes to get better every day … she is a true athlete,” said Andrews.
After injuries, a lot of athletes think of giving up.
Recovering from an injury could be harder than it seems. It might seem like nobody understands, but the secret is to stay positive and focus on getting better as soon as possible.
Coach Andrews said, “I couldn’t imagine a life without sports and she must had not either, that’s why she focused on tennis.”
According to Rincon, she had to find another passion.
“You think sometimes that you have a passion and then you couldn’t do that anymore. So you got stuck, stuck in life,” Rincon said. “You have to find some other options to do something to move on and you can find another passion, just like me … find something to get proud of.”
– By Marcela Dantas, Staff Member