I first met Candice Brown in our public speaking class. Even though she told the class that she was deathly afraid of speaking in front of an audience (as is 75% of the population!), she wowed us with her words—teaching us how to get a great butt. An interesting topic, right? But she shared this with us because she used these exercises when she needed special therapy after getting into a car accident. As a recent graduate of UCLA and a former UCLA basketball player, I thought Candice’s story should be shared. It reminded me that we should be grateful for every day that we are given and that we should seek happiness, even in some of the most devastating times.
1. You played basketball for UCLA. What was your experience like and how much happiness did it bring you?
UCLA afforded me many opportunities that I would not have received on my own. Unfortunately, I was somewhat unhappy with playing basketball. I had played for almost ten years and had not been able to make decisions with considering basketball. I was extremely happy to walk away from basketball and begin living my life.
2. What was your happiest memory from basketball?
My fondest memory of basketball was receiving a note from the post office that expressed how proud they were of my accomplishments. During high school I received thousands on interest letters from universities around the country.
3. You recently got into a car accident. What happened to you and how did the recovery process affect your happiness?
A few friends and I were driving to a party when we were hit by a drunk driver. I suffered from fractured hips, a broken pelvis and ribs along with a scar and a sprained ankle. I feel so many different ways about what happened to me. But most importantly I was grateful to be alive and that my friends were safe. I still struggle with my happiness because I was extremely used to looking a certain way and I didn’t after the accident. I gained some weight and was unable to workout like I liked. Things are getting better and I’m more and more happy every day, though.
4. What was the most challenging aspect of recovery and how were you able to overcome this?
The most challenging aspect of recovery was getting back into shape. My dad helped me by motivating me to push myself harder than I had before my accident.
5. What would you tell someone who is struggling with a difficult circumstance?
I would tell them to look to your family and friends for the strength to overcome. I would also encourage them to pray and meditate, it helps to center oneself and to spiritually connect with your faith.