Athletes

Walk A Mile In My Shoes: Jordan Jensen-Whyte - "The Comeback"

What’s up, guys?! Jordan JW here checking back in.  It’s been about two months since I last posted, and what an interesting couple of months it’s been. I want to start this off by congratulating the UBC Thunderbirds on another spectacular season. It’s a pretty special feeling, being an alumni of such a world-class university and sports program. A special congrats to the UBC seniors who I myself had the pleasure of competing next to: Luka Zaharijevic, Phil Jalalalapoor (Jalalpoor), and Conor Morgan. I also want to congratulate Charles Dai on finally dawning the UBC jersey. For those of you who know, well, you know. For those of you who don’t know, Charles has one of the most inspirational stories you’ll come across and I’m proud to say I got a chance to be a part of his journey.

The last time I checked in on the blog I was about 15 days’ post-operation and barely moving, so I’m happy to say that I am now 10 weeks post-op and moving quite a bit better. I will jump into more depth about that later in this post but first I just want to give you a bit of insight into where my mental state is at as this type of injury does indeed psychologically affect those who are lucky enough to come across this speed bump..

Thoughts:

This injury has brought so many questions and realizations to my head and shown me many things so far, and I’m barely 1/3rd of the way through the recovery process. It has allowed me to sit back and critically analyze a lot, and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. Being bed-ridden for at least a month will do that to anybody. For example; in the first month and a half I was constantly questioning why me? How come this happened? Is basketball over? Will I ever be the same? Do you want to know where I stand on these topics today? I’m glad this happened to me. It’s creating a mental monster that I’m going to carry with me for the rest of my life, so long as I learn my lesson (which is the key). In my last post I talked a little bit about Isaiah Thomas’s slow grind mantra, which is great and I love it, but I have to say guys, I’m more of a Mamba Mentality type of guy. For those of you who don’t know where that mantra comes from, it’s the one and only Kobe Bryant. The reason I bring this up is due to the fact that Kobe, as said by many of his peers, was the hardest working superstar the NBA may have ever seen.  Exemplified by tearing his Achilles on the back nine of his career (I’m talking hole 17 of 18 for any of my golf-playing peers that may be reading this). Watching that and using this perspective I can see that I just ended my university career with UBC guys, and I had a pretty good one too. I’m now being exposed to options that could take me away from the court, but you know what? Basketball was my second love (after my family), and just like Kobe coming back from his Achilles, I feel that it deserves another go from me and that is what my Mamba Mentality is driving me towards. Now having said all that, I do know that this time I’ve been given has allowed me to build bridges for when basketball does come to an end, and you can bet I’ve been working on that. It’s the idea of not putting all your eggs in one basket type of thing.

Where I am at:

The last two weeks I finally was able to get out and work a bit, so obviously I chose to work kid’s basketball camps for Genesis Basketball here in Calgary. It was honestly the hardest thing to hold back my urge to take on all the kids whenever they’d challenge me, whether it be a game of 1-on-1, bump, etc.  Seeing the kids play brought me back to when I too was 6 years old and just learning how to play and love the game. I love this game guys! It has taken me so many amazing places and introduced me to so many great people. I think as athletes sometimes we get so engulfed by our sport that some of us can lose that kid inside of us and lose the sense of gratitude that basketball teaches us. Yes, we all love to be competitive and win, but it is just as important to give thanks and appreciate every moment we have while playing ‘cause you never know when an unexpected injury or life event may sideline you not only from basketball but from day-to-day life. Bouncing off that, my day-to-day life for the first 6 or 7 weeks was to basically wake-up and then proceed to do physio a minimum of 4x a day (which basically reduces one to laying on the bed, playing video games all day). Since then, as I mentioned earlier, I am now able to pretty much do everything I would normally do (aka grab some food with a friend or go to a high school basketball game to watch the local talent in the city), while still doing my physio exercises at least one time a day. The knee is still stiff when I wake up but then calms down, and still has a bit of swelling but not much left!

Thank you

Anyways guys, for those of you who have taken the time to read this I want to say thank you and let you know that I’m doing great and I hope everything is well with you as well. I appreciate everybody that I have met through the game of basketball. In my eyes it’s the greatest sport on the planet and I can’t wait to get back out on that floor and let my inner 6-year-old loose.  Go Cavs Go and good luck to my NBL pro team St. Johns Edge, as they just swept the first round of play-offs and are ready for the next test.

Sincerely,

        Jordan Jensen-Whyte