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Tough decision

I have to do this not just for myself, but for the country as well since I want to be at my very best by the time we compete in the SEA Games

Mika Reyes

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The national women’s volleyball team went to Thailand for its international training and friendly matches last Saturday but — unfortunately — I wasn’t able to make it.

I know it was a golden opportunity for me not only to grow as a player, but also to develop my chemistry and camaraderie with the team as we enter the final stretch of our preparation for the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

But I need to take the time off to rest and recover my injured left knee.

Just imagine that there are three conferences in the Philippine Superliga: The Grand Prix, All-Filipino Conference and the Invitational Conference. In between, we only have a break of around two to three weeks.

Aside from taking a quick vacation, we use those breaks to rest and recover our bodies. This is the perfect time for us to get treatments, therapies and other kinds of relaxation to avoid further injuries and condition ourselves for another tough battle ahead.

Like other athletes, getting burned out is part of our sport.

It’s really inevitable for us to suffer fatigue, but we’re solving it by getting enough rest to avoid any major injury.

Last week, my medical team decided to use this break to get treatment.

After I was told that I will be missing the first part of the training camp, I got really sad because, as I’ve said, this could have been a good opportunity to get to know the new players as well as study the Thai system. As we know, the Thais are not tall, but they evolved into one of the world’s best teams using a very good system.

To be honest, I knew that I wouldn’t be ready if ever I insisted on joining the team.

I knew that I wouldn’t be able to give my full effort so I just decided to excuse myself and listen to my body by getting the treatment it needs.

I also have to accept the fact that I should be happy to see somebody, a healthier and more deserving player, get that golden opportunity.

Actually, I asked national team head coach Shaq de los Santos if he will allow me to fly to Thailand in the final stretch of the camp. Even if I won’t train or do any physical activity, the mere fact that I am there would be a big boost to my teammates as they would see that I am fully committed in our SEA Games preparation.

But we both decided to call off.

DR. Randy Molo (left) makes sure that I get the proper rest and recovery to treat my injured left knee.

Coach Shaq is also my coach at Petron and he knows that my knee has been bothering me for the past few months. So instead of flying to Thailand, he advised me to use the break for recovery and return my full strength in no time.

Also, I don’t want to force my return because we have a timeline to follow.

Speaking of timeline, my doctor, Dr. Randy Molo, told me that I shouldn’t rush my recovery.

When I had an appointment with him, he made sure that I remember and understand the entire process and his plans to get me back in great shape. I really find it very helpful that he always explains to his patients the importance and long-term benefits of having a good recovery.

After all, we are athletes and we are judged based on our performance inside the court so we have to invest and listen to our bodies.
Yes, we won’t be forever young.

Time will come and we will get old and our bodies will no longer respond to what we want to do. Our bones and muscles will also not be as strong as before and our overall physical condition will be very vulnerable.

I know missing the training camp is tough, but this is a very important decision to make.

I have to do this not just for myself, but for the country as well since I want to be at my very best by the time we compete in the SEA Games.

I want to thank all those who wished me well as soon as I found out that I would not be joining the team in Thailand. I really appreciate all their love and support and I will forever be grateful to them for staying with me in this very tough situation.

But more than that, I trust God’s plans and remains thankful that He gave me this kind of challenge.

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