Perspective of an Injured Athlete

Sarah Lennon, Staff Writer

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Passion and desire is what drives an individual to be great. Athletes not only have this passion and desire but the emotional connection to the sport they love as well. Although emotion might be an important aspect of pursuing the sport you love, the biggest obstacle most athletes face is physical.

An injury is an athlete’s worst nightmare. Whether it be serious or somewhat insignificant, the thought of being mentally able to pursue the sport you love yet physically unable to play is torturous. Six months ago I experienced an injury that would change my life. It was a normal day of basketball practice as we prepared for section semi-finals in two days. “This is our year” the team thought. I was determined to win the section for the team. We set up a drill I’ve done dozens of times but one wrong step made this time different from the rest. I made a harsh cut with my right leg to beat a defender and felt my knee give out. I fell to the ground and although I wasn’t sure what was wrong, I knew it was serious. The MRI results were exactly what I didn’t want to hear; my ACL was fully torn and, if I ever wanted to play sports again, I needed surgery as soon as possible.

Five months post operation I still can’t exercise the way I used to, and unfortunately could not play volleyball, but with the help of physical therapy my knee is slowly recovering. Although this injury was definitely one of the hardest obstacles I’ve had to overcome in life, I have gained a new perspective on sports which has forced me to adopt qualities that have only made me a stronger person.

Being on the sidelines for every practice as well as every game is incredibly hard for any athlete. I never would have thought that an injury like this would happen to me, but in some ways it has positively impacted my life. Senior Joe Urgo, who tore his ACL restricting him from playing football this season, said “I’ve played football my whole life so not being able to play the sport I’ve grown up playing has made me realize how much I take it for granted. Being injured has allowed me to obtain a greater appreciation and love for the sport.”  Senior Maeve Ward partially tore her ACL restricting her from playing to her utmost potential for soccer section playoffs. She said “Being injured definitely made me realize how much soccer actually means to me. It also makes me determined to come back better, and when I start playing again I’ll work harder and I won’t take it for granted because I know it doesn’t last forever.”

Not only has being injured increased my love for volleyball, it has made me a better overall player by widening my knowledge of the sport. Being on the sidelines has given me a new perspective I would not obtain if it weren’t for this injury. I have learned different aspects of the game that have benefited me as a player. I was able to see the value of each individual position and how important working together as a team truly is. I have seen the importance of team unity and being injured definitely increased my desire to be great.

Although this experience has definitely been one of the hardest obstacles in my life, I have learned how to be persevering, determined, enduring, and mentally strong. I can say that I am thankful for this injury, for showing me how much I truly love being an athlete. My love for sports has only increased and so has my passion and desire to be better each and every day.

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Perspective of an Injured Athlete