The National Christian College Athletic Association began a special feature this month called #KingChasing. They asked three questions of a number of NCCAA student-athletes, whose season was cut short or canceled related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose was to re-orient the focus of student-athletes during a spring without #RingChasing (seeking NCCAA National Championships) into a season of #KingChasing (seeking Jesus). It is the NCCAA's hope (as well as ours) that student-athletes, coaches, families, friends, and fans impacted by this challenging time can find inspiration from the student-athletes highlighted in this feature..
One of the student-athletes responding was C of O senior Kyle Kapella, who has been a four-year member of the men’s track & field team. Kapella excels at high jumping and has also competed well in the 200 meter dash, long jump, and 4 x 400 relay during his tenure. His senior season of competition was canceled before it even began. We would like to share Kyle’s responses to the NCCAA’s questions in the hope you will be blessed and encouraged by his words:
What have you learned from the Lord in these uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Every day we, as athletes, step out onto our field of play to challenge ourselves to be the best that we can be. We may have different goals, whether it be for a new PR (personal record) or if it's for a National Title. But when the stadium shuts down and the season comes to a close, what are we left with? A couple W's? Some stats on a piece of paper? A shiny piece of metal? It is in times like these that we need to realize that we challenge ourselves not for worldly possessions or titles, but to better ourselves so we can better serve God as we share life with his children.
How are you using this season to growth in your faith and trust in the Lord?
Typically, during the season, a lot of my other roles get put on hold and placed on the backburner. I've viewed this time as an opportunity to be present and active within those roles. I've been blessed to be home with my family and help my father with some major remodeling, I've been thankful to strengthen relationships with my friends and significant other, and I've been joyous to pursue and enjoy other passions that I could never find time for during the season. Though it is not the same as my athletic pursuit, these are all things that God has made me apart of so that I can be loved and therefore, share love with others around me.
What advice would you give another student-athlete who may be struggling with not being able to play their sport?
You may feel that everything you have worked for in your season or career is being thrown away. However, as this door closes, God has opened many others which provide you time and space to focus and invest in other callings in your life. In my life, I have never been faced with a time where God has not given me an outlet to love or serve others and this situation is no different. God made us as humans, not just athletes.
Thank you to Kyle for his willingness to share his perspective during this unique situation, and thank you to the NCCAA for allowing us to share this feature with you.
To read additional encouraging features by student-athletes from other NCCAA institutions, check out @TheNCCAA on Twitter - #KingChasing.