This Is My Testimony...Santia Deck

My twin brother and I were born premature. We were not expected to live. At 12 years old, I was diagnosed with scoliosis and was told I should never play sports because if I were hit the wrong way, I could be paralyzed. My mom had a choice; either take me out of track, which at that time, I had been doing since I was 7, or allow me to continue on the athletic path I was on. She ended up putting her trust in God and allowing God to guide my steps. I’m so glad she did. Because she trusted God and allowed me to remain active in sports, I went on to receive a full scholarship for track and field to Texas A&M Kingsville. 

However, my obstacles didn't stop there. After college, I tried to go pro in track but ended up injuring myself before I had the chance to prepare for the trials. I told myself prior to that injury that if I were to get injured, I would be done with track, so that injury ended my track career. 

Because when one door closes, another one opens, I then discovered and fell in love with flag football, which ended up taking my sports brand to the next level. I did so well in flag football that in 2015, I caught the eye of the USA Olympic Rugby coach and was invited to a tryout despite me not knowing anything about the sport. I was strictly recruited because of my speed and agility. I hopped on the plane to the Olympic training center about a week after our conversation and had the wind knocked out of me when I was told the head coach was being fired. 

I was super confused and hurt when I was sent home by the replacement coach because she “ had other plans and was not focused on speed.” That plane ride back home was tough and deflating. 

When I landed back home in Atlanta, I received a call from the Atlanta Steam Ladies Football League coach about them wanting me to tryout for his team due to him seeing how talented I was in flag football. I ended up accepting the offer and did very well at the tryout and made the team. However, I played LFL half a season and decided it wasn’t for me and went back to flag football. 

Fast forward to a year and a half ago, rugby came back into the picture because I was constantly being tagged on rugby videos on social media. I finally decided to learn how to properly play the sport and really give myself a chance to play on a competitive level. My determination paid off and eventually, I did. I did so well, coaches felt I could make the USA Olympic team. So, I embarked on my 2020 Olympic journey. 

I took my mind, body, and spirit through the ringer. So much so, that I burned myself out right before getting the chance to compete in front of the USA Olympic coach. I suffered from a hamstring injury in March of 2019 that I knowingly ignored because I was so determined to get a tryout with the USA team. That injury cost me my chance to make the team. 

I went through a depression and was completely lost. I remember getting on my knees and crying my soul out for God to help me understand what was happening. At that moment, I surrendered to Him and allowed Him to take control of my life.

Once I did, EVERYTHING changed for me. A few months after being told I wasn’t going to be a part of the 2020 Olympics, I signed a history making deal with the WFLA and I’m now the highest paid female football player in history.

For more information on Santia, visit her at: @trackbaby001

* Photo Credit: Jeffrey Moustache

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