Today’s blog has been written by International Fellow Courtney Boylan.
Hello! It’s been a long time since my last blog entry. A lot has happened, and I am excited to update you on everything happening in Israel! After an amazing summer in the United States, spending time with friends and family, and also getting married, I returned to Israel in October to continue working for PeacePlayers and also to play professional basketball for a team in Holon (Elitzur Holon). Everything was going really well with practices and scrimmages at the start of the season, until something really unfortunate and unexpected happened: I tore my ACL in a preseason scrimmage. I was completely devastated. Being around basketball for so long, I’m aware of all the risks involved with playing, especially knee injuries, but I just never expected something like this to happen to me. After the initial shock of the injury, going to different doctors’ appointments and meeting trusted surgeons here in Israel, I was finally able to come to terms with everything, and I decided that it was best for me to have the surgery in Israel and continue my rehab here afterwards.
I am now 3 months post-surgery, and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I started running one week ago, and just yesterday I started jumping for the first time – both monumental things after having reconstructive knee surgery. My knee is finally at a place where I can step back on the court as a coach, and I am able to be more involved with PeacePlayers practices and twinnings.
Having a major surgery in a foreign country, with doctors and nurses speaking a different language and unfamiliar procedural protocol was undeniably scary for me, but that is why I am so thankful for the family that I have gained here. Being a part of the PPI family is one of the major reasons that I have been able to work through such a difficult time in my life. Everyday I am reminded of how caring and thoughtful the staff, coaches, and participants are. I know that having their support helped my healing, both mentally and physically, and allowed me to progress so quickly with my rehab. Even just something as simple as attending a practice or a twinning and seeing the familiar smiles of our participants allowed me to forget about my injury and regain perspective.
It goes without saying that this injury has had a negative impact, but one of the incredibly positive things to happen because of it is my increased participation in PeacePlayers activities. This year I have, and will continue to be able to, provide more help and support to all of our teams. We have already started twinnings at each of our sites, and they have been extremely positive. I feel very encouraged for what’s to come during the remainder of this year. The saying is a bit clichéd, but it really is true that when one door closes, another one opens, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to spend more time with the staff, coaches, participants, and parents that are involved with PPI-ME.