Alana Beard's Road to Recovery

When they say I can’t…I will.

This was something I said to myself after having a conversation with someone recently. The conversation was normal to start, but somewhere along the way they brought up the dreaded topic - “can Alana come back from her ankle injury?”

As a competitive athlete and of course, me being me, I had a normal reaction of what I refer to as “fire”. A fire started burning inside of me. A passionate feeling of determination, motivation, and the desire to persevere and prove the doubters completely wrong encompasses what I describe as my fire.

Considering I’ve never physically been in a fight in my entire life, ya’ll…I had that bull-faced look that I get on the court and I was ready to attack! I didn’t know who I was going to attack, but I was ready, chute.

Anyway, I came out of whatever zone I was in and realized proving this would have to wait about 8 more months. For some reason, I forget I have a Transformer-looking boot on my foot and my only means of getting around is via crutches in my house and riding my scooter when I’m out. Vroom-Vroom!

I remember watching the ESPN special on Reggie Miller and the Pacers vs. Knicks playoff series. At one point during the special, Reggie spoke about what made his “fire” burn in that particular series. He mentioned that Mark Jackson was his “eyes and ears” during that time. Mark would read the papers and report back to Reggie what was being said. Comments like “John Starks is better than Reggie Miller” were all it took. Reggie was like a “bull” ready to attack.

So, my point is, athletes are always looking for that extra motivation. Basketball is more mental than physical. Don’t get me wrong, of course it takes physical ability, but when you get to a certain level, it becomes mental. The one thing or comment you may think is insignificant is that one thing that creates that "FIRE!"

When they say I CAN’T…I WILL!

Until next time…Whoop Whoop!
- Alana

So, I tend to think when I'm sitting in my closet. I know you must think its weird, but I love lying on the floor in my closet when I'm talking on the phone... or I just get plain bored with putting clothes away that I flop on the floor.

With that being said, I decided to pull out my blackberry and started typing. I actually like writing blogs now because I have something to actually talk about:-). Not that I didn't like writing them before, I just think these are more interesting:-).

How about those Mystics???? The team is looking really good right now. The scariest part is, its only the beginning and all cylinders aren't even oiled up yet! Monique Currie has come out the gates hot! The only thing I can say is "I told you so"!

In my last blog, I mentioned that I can't wait to see it all evolve. Its really going to be a beautiful thing to watch I tell ya! I'm such a believer. Just watch, wait and see. Don't underestimate the power of character and perseverance. Those two words are the perfect words to describe each and every player in that locker room. Just watch:-).

As for me, for the past two or three weeks I've had the chance to interact with our fans quite a bit. When approached, the first thing someone says is, "I'm sorry." My response is always, "don't be because I'm not." At that point I think some of you are taken aback for a second because of my response. I assume you expect me to drop my shoulders, tear up and just break down because the game of basketball is temporarily taken from me...or not. Either way, that's the old me. Well, not the old me, maybe just a wiser, more aware me...I now understand and will enjoy the process (that's for my Trudi Lacy or Trixie as she's called...she's such an inspiration).

Rehab is going. There isn't much I can do right now. The only exercise I'm allowed to do is move my toes. I have to have my left foot mimic my right foot by the time I go back to Duke for my next appointment on June 2nd (hopefully I get a walking boot, yay!). Its funny, because just today I was sitting here calculating how long its been since I last worked out. Its been 49 freaking days!! Crystal Langhorne always tell me "don't get fat (haha)." I just look at her and say you just bring in that 20 and 20 every night. Seriously though, 49 days! April 5th was my last day of training. April 12th was the day I found out that I had to have surgery. April 20th was the day of surgery. That equals 49 days for all you that didn't excel at math in first grade:-). Oh, did I mention 49 days?

Before I leave, I want to thank all of for the well wishes and all the birthday wishes. You all are freaking amazing. You honestly care and I truly appreciate it.

Hope to see ya'll ALL summer. In order for that to be possible you gotta get those season tickets. You don't want to REALLY see me cry do you? 49 days

Hey Mystic fans! I hope all is well and that you are getting just as excited as I am about the season. I know you all have heard the news about my surgery and I can't be more disappointed. Disappointed because my main reason for staying home instead of playing overseas was to make sure everything was right. After Christmas my body was feeling great, I was getting great workouts in with Coach Plank, Riss, and some practice guys (shout out to Tye and Clint), then it happened. I sprained my ankle yet again in March and that did it. But that's life! I accept every situation and challenge that is thrown my way with open arms. "A setback is only a setup for a comeback," right?

When I first heard the news, the one thought that came to mind was my teammates, then Tamika Catchings. I said to myself, if Tamika came back from and an Achilles rupture then I can come back from this. My injury is considered a grade (by 1%) below an Achilles rupture. My tendon was torn and did not rupture, but because they had to touch the actual tendon its makes the recovery process the same length as a rupture.

I thought about my teammates, simply because they are my heart. Everything I do, I do with my teammates in mind, winning for them and not letting them down. This is going to be an exciting year and I can feel it. Its going to be the year where Monique Currie will show you what she's been showing us (her teammates and coaches in practice) all along. Marissa Coleman is healthy and will be that player that so many of you expected her to be last year, but even better! She's looked awesome during work outs and our pre season game against New York. Matee Ajavon, will get a chance to show you that she's that player. She will get that chance to be what she's destined to be. Katie Smith will be the Olympian that she is, Linds will be as solid as ever and of course the posts are going to hold their own! So, you see, I take everything that you and others may consider a negative and turn it into a positive right away.

As for me, I am doing great. Mentally I'm smiling every single day and have an understanding that things happen for a reason. Physically, well, I¡¦ve had a few tough nights getting through the pain, but what are those nice white "candies" for. I hate the way they make me feel, yet I love how the pain goes away whoop whoop, lol.

I'll make sure to keep you updated on my progress and stay just as involved. Until next time, gear up for your Mystics and I look forward to seeing you all at the games! Whoop whoop!