by Denver del Rosario
As she stepped into the taraflex court after a very long time, elation surged through her body. Every after jump and spike meant everything, especially after recovering from a crucial injury that affected her career last season in the UAAP.
For someone like Katherine Bersola whose love is playing volleyball, it was a feeling like no other.
Bersola, who just returned in collegiate action after an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury on her left knee in their match against Adamson University last UAAP season, described her happiness as a “crazy” one.
“Sobrang saya ko talaga, kanina tumatalon-talon pa ako na parang ewan,” she said, laughing. (I was so happy, I was jumping like a fool.)
When Bersola was injured, she was pulled out for the rest of the season and was forced to watch her team from the sidelines.
Instead of losing hope in her dreams as some athletes do after suffering from a terrible physical damage, Bersola, acted differently, undergoing every examination and therapy she needed, hoping that one day she would finally set foot on that volleyball court again.
“Well, dumating sa point na na-depress ako, pero dahil sobrang mahal ko lang kasi yung sport,” she said. “But that only lasted for two weeks, up until my operation. After that, wala na, positive lang lagi yung mindset ko at natuto akong maging optimistic.”
(It came to a point where I got depressed, but only because I love the sport so much. But that only lasted for two weeks, up until my operation. After that, I only had positive mindset and I learned to be optimistic.)
The process of her recovery was not easy, but the Sports Science major found some pillars of strength from the support she got from her teammates and the UP community.
Now that she’s back in action for UP with her new role as the team captain, Bersola promises to give her best while putting her previous injury behind her if ever she performs poorly.
When I look back at everything I’ve been through, I won’t even believe that I’m one of those people who can survive such injury.
“It is definitely not an excuse anymore,” she said. “Ngayong team captain na ako, kailangan ako yung huling-huling bibigay sa team.” (Now that I am the team captain, I need to be the last one to crumble in the team.)
With the time she took to recover fro
m the injury, the new team captain also picked up few life lessons.
“First is to be patient and to be resilient, na kahit pangit yung laro ko or matalo man kami, dapat ready ako to bounce back for the team,” she said. (First is to be patient and resilient, that even when I played badly or we lost, I am ready to bounce back for the team.)
Bersola also learned to loosen up during matches while taking good care of her body.
“I learned to relax, kasi one of the reasons why I got injured is dahil sobrang tense ng katawan and nagcoconstrict yung muscles ko,” she said. (I learned to relax, because one of the reasons why I got injured is because my body is so tense and my muscles are constricting.)
Looking forward for a final four finish this season, Bersola hopes to draw inspiration from her own story of fighting through adversity.
“Pag nag-look back ako sa mga pinagdaanan ko, sobrang di ko aakalain na isa ako sa mga tao na kayang maka-survive ng ganung injury,” she said.
(When I look back at everything I’ve been through, I won’t even believe that I’m one of those people who can survive such injury.)
With Bersola back in the game and back doing what she loves most, the UP Women’s Volleyball team is stronger than ever with a team captain tested by fire who has managed to rise gloriously amidst the ashes of adversary.