Hope is the optimism that inspires people and helps them overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles—the distant light at the end of the tunnel. Hope allows you to look forward to your situation but can also help you recover.

Everyone has a story, but what makes it a story of hope is that it emphasizes the possibility of a positive outcome, despite challenging circumstances or setbacks. In class, we read four stories, each focusing on a challenge and associated words: hope, resilience, survival and adversity.

While reading these stories, I found an article that closely related to me. In the sports world, the worst thing that can happen is a career-ending injury, especially when it is your job.

In August of 2014, that is exactly what happened to Paul George, an NBA superstar. While training with Team USA, he broke his leg, possibly ending his career. Merely returning to the NBA would have been a success story. But returning to superstardom was thought to be impossible. Before he could even pick up a basketball, he needed to relearn to walk. “Ninety percent of the whole rehab is mental,” George said. “You’re doing the same stuff, day after day, that gets tiring. It’s tedious work rehabbing. That was really the whole battle was how do I keep motivation.” Being away from the game made George cherish it and how much it meant.

Being an athlete, I connect to this situation where you feel helpless from an injury. Learning from George’s recovery shows the incredible mental resilience and strength you need to recover. Bouncing back and defying the odds demonstrates mental strength’s importance through tough times. These lessons are not just for basketball players, but they are life skills for any adversity.

Often times we might think the world is out to get us, but it is all how you perceive your situation. If you only focus on the bad, you will only see the bad things and miss all the good things that might happen. You have to learn from failure, turning tough times into a lesson. Life goes up and down, and knowing your situation will improve is the first step to resilience. The next step, like George, is starting by taking those baby steps. That is what makes a story of hope.