Written by Zachary Fu
Freshman cross country and track runner Alexandra Sciarra exemplifies an strong spirit in the face of athletic trials. After competing as one of Biola’s top runners during cross country season and helping the team to a second-place national finish, she knew what it meant to “feel on top of the world.” When she returned from winter break for indoor track training, she noticed that something in her body was not right.
“I had somehow injured my Achilles tendon… well, that’s what I thought it was. It’s just like a little thing, but it’s one of those nagging injuries that’s like a stabbing pain when you’re running,” she explains.
She later found out that she suffered from Achilles Bursitis Tendinitis, an injury that caused her to sit out for both indoor and outdoor track seasons. Like Tan, she has kept a positive attitude through the trials that she has faced, even if they seem small. Her experience has served as a gentle reminder that her gifts and abilities come from God and not from her own strength.
“It helped me to trust in God more with the little things,” says Sciarra. “It has been a humbling thing for me and just a real lesson in patience.”
A seemingly minor injury to her Achilles tendon took Sciarra off the track and onto the sideline. In spite of this, she has found ways to contribute to the team with her joyful spirit and positive attitude. She supports her teammates at meets and encourages them to reach their personal and team goals.
“I get to cheer and encourage other people,” she says, noting the way that God uses her injury to teach her to be less self-oriented and more focused on others. In the world of collegiate athletics, where self is everything—personal fitness, personal skill sets, personal bests—a focus on others can easily fall to the back of the priorities list. Sciarra values this shift in focus despite the present physical and emotional pain.
“I think that something good is going to come out of it that I don’t see now, but later I’ll be able to look back and see that God has really been working in my heart during that time.”