The Day That Changed My Life: Kiefer Ravena On His Toughtest Test Yet
by Kiefer Ravena
Feb 25, 2018. The day that changed my life.
It was around 10pm at the Mall of Asia Arena. After our Gilas Pilipinas against Japan. Everybody was ecstatic! It was a big win against our Asian rivals and a huge confidence booster for the 3rd window of the World Cup Qualifiers. It started out as a regular game day that ended up being not so normal after all.
Dun dun dun. I got picked to do a random drug test. At first I was shocked but confident at the same time. I AM NOT THAT GUY. Had to put it out there. Lol. I was confident and thought that it will all be a breeze. Yes, it was a breeze yet it was my defining moment. Something that I will remember the rest of my life. After a few weeks, results came out and I tested out positive for banned substances and i couldn’t stop thinking about the things they found because I AM NOT THAT GUY. It was very traumatic and opened my eyes to how we should appreciate the things we have or life in general.
May 22. My version of LeBron James’ “The Decision” during the eve of my first ever PBA All-Star Starting 5 experience, I got called up and had to go back to manila for an important announcement that will happen the following day. A presscon was to be held to let the people know about my situation and for me to explain myself. I was sanctioned and suspended for 18 months to play the sport that I love. It was the toughest hour of my life. Despite this, I know I had to stay strong and let everybody understand what really happened.
Three months and 22 days after the decision, here I am, dedicated and hungrier than ever to play the sport that I grew up admiring and truly love. I’ve been working out as much as I can and working around on the things I can and cannot do. I’ve surrounded myself with positive people to help me go through tough times. Without them, I don’t know how I will be able to deal with this. A lot of things to pick up from this humbling experience. One, we should appreciate more. Whether people, places, resources, words etc. Appreciate the beautiful things around us. It is given to us for a reason. To all the athletes, appreciate your body, appreciate your health. Don’t take it for granted. It is not forever where we can play and be around our world. Another is to be careful. There are a lot of things in this world where we think that are safe just because a lot of people use it. No. Asking questions will not hurt us. It doesn’t mean we do not know anything. Being careful and sure is better than leaving it all to chance and feel the consequences in the long run. Again, prevention is better than cure.
Kaya ko ‘to. It’s something that I’ll go through with the people who care for my well being. They are my backbone, especially my family. I can’t thank them enough. Words in this blog will never be enough to let them know how much i appreciate them. I can’t wait to get back on the hardcourt and be with my team again! I’ll work harder than ever to get back to my precious game and elevate it even more. I’ll be back. For sure.