Powering Through: Simone Jelks Lets You Into Her Journey Back To The Court

Feb. 16, 2006

Hi Trojan Family!

I want to take this opportunity to share with you some of my experiences of the year - especially about how I've dealt with my injury.

In the month of December, the majority of student-athletes whose hometowns are outside of California are practically exploding with anticipation of going home to see their families and celebrating the holidays. Unfortunately, during the month of December my focus of anticipation shifted from family and holidays, to family and injury. Right before flying back to Cleveland, Ohio, I tore my PCL (knee ligament posterior of ACL) on December 20th, diving for a loose ball in our matchup against Oregon State.

Since December 20th, I have spent numerous days and hours in rehabilitation. 'Rehab' as the term is nicknamed, has its ups and downs. When I first began rehab I was really down on myself; angry because this year seemed to be a mere replication of my sidelined career last year, and frustrated because the conference season was just starting. In the middle of rehab, however, I began to feel more optimistic; I realized that there was nothing I could do to change the situation I was in, and that the best thing I could do for myself and for my team was to get better -- and stronger.

Now in the month of February, my rehab progress has allowed me to step back on the playing court. One would think that this would be the end of my rehab and a continuation of my optimism, but this is where rehab is tricky. Just when I think I can move, land or jump a certain way, my knee suddenly reminds me that I am not 100% healed. The conflict between what my mind wants my knee to do, and what my knee is restricted and limited to do is quite frustrating. Thankfully my family, my teammates and my coaches have helped me the most in this part of the rehab process.

In respect to my teammates, I am so grateful that they have given me courage to continue fighting through my injury. Throughout everything that has sidelined me this year and last, my teammates have always been behind me. When they are tired and exhausted in practice, they still manage to look over at me while I am doing my rehab exercises and encourage me. There has not been one instance since my injury that I have felt abandoned or left out by teammates. A very strong bond exists between my teammates and myself that cannot be explained in simple words. Every individual person has given me a different type of ammunition to help me overcome the hard times of rehab.

Being re-introduced to the court again in these past couple of weeks has been extremely sentimental and gratifying for me. You really don't know how much you enjoy and appreciate something until it is taken away. Although I am not nearly back to 100% physically, there are two things that I know will never be injured, and can always be used when I am out there on the court; my heart and my passion. And now after reflecting upon my experience with this injury and the rehab, I believe that come December 20th of next year's season, if there is another chance for me to dive for another loose ball, I will. Not simply because I might be yelled at if I don't :) but because that's just the type of player I am, and giving my all is a natural instinct when it comes to not letting my teammates down.

I hope you have enjoyed this entry! Thanks for being a part of our Trojan Family.

Fight On!

Simone #4

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