Injured athletes overcome adversity

Featured Image: Hailey Benders | Marlin Chronicle

With athletics, there comes the risk of being injured, whether it is a contact sport or otherwise. Students shared their experiences of being injured and their processes of getting through injuries.

Men’s Soccer player and junior Hunter Edwards tore both of his ACLs and was unable to play for the past two seasons. Edwards shared the effect that his injuries have had on him. “It’s more of a physical toll, like just not being able to jog or run or really do anything athletic,” Edwards said. “I’m just not able to really play and do everything that is involved in soccer.” 

A serious injury can affect a player’s long term career. “It probably negatively affected my career,” Edwards said. To Edwards, however, the injuries have not entirely ruined his experience. “I still enjoy being a part of the team and everything that comes along with it,” Edwards said.

Sophomore Men’s Basketball player Austin Smith also shared his experience with his injury. Smith’s injury consisted of a tendon rupture in his toe, which has put him out of commission for around a year. 

Smith explained the struggle that such an injury has placed on his life. “My whole life, basketball has been a place where I can go and get away from life, but I’m just being fully immersed in it since I haven’t had basketball in my life for about a year,” Smith said.

He also shared how his perspective towards basketball changed due to his injury. “Getting injured really puts everything in perspective. I feel like getting hurt, you kind of can see the game from a different level and you can appreciate the game in a way that you haven’t really appreciated before,” Smith said.

Smith has turned his injury into a positive experience in some ways. “I feel like I take in every game and every moment as its own and I think that’s what I’ve learned to do since I’ve gotten injured,” Smith said.

He worked hard on and off the court. “I really realized that when I got hurt and I started to watch games, I started to see the game and I started to understand the game. I felt like I took it for granted when I was healthy,” Smith said.

Smith utilized meditation throughout his recovery. “Everything’s running through my head at one time, it’s racing. So meditation has been really helpful,” Smith said.

His teammates and their support have also been a big assistance for Smith in his recovery process. “Being around my teammates has helped so much. I’ve gotten a lot closer with them since I haven’t been able to play,” Smith said.

Smith mentioned his current problematic situation and why he believes he remains injured. “When they told me I’d be out for like nine to 12 months, I wasn’t really focused on asking the right questions. And I think if I asked the right questions earlier, maybe I wouldn’t be in this position that I’m in now,” Smith said.

He offered advice on how to prevent this. “I believe [in] weighing all your options, asking the right questions, and honestly just wanting to recover and rehab because you’re going to have a lot of days that you don’t want to do it,” Smith said.

Adding to this, Smith shared his positive outlook on the situation. “My foot was in extraordinary pain when I first started rehab and I still have days today, a year and some change in, that I still have lots of pain, but I just have to push through it because I know one day I want to get back on the basketball court,” Smith said.

Audrey Roberts, a junior on the Women’s Swim team, shared her perspective on this situation. Roberts had three tears in her labrum, which is part of the soft tissue or cartilage surrounding a joint. “I wasn’t able to use my left arm at all for about two months, and I couldn’t work out, couldn’t do anything. So I was completely out of shape when the season started,” Roberts said.

She added it’s necessary to get help in the right ways. “Don’t ignore it, for sure. I put it off. I swam on an injured shoulder for two months and then obviously it got worse. So I definitely don’t think ignoring it is a solution at all,” Roberts said.

Roberts also shared the positive outlook of her injury and it benefited her experience. “It’s been continually getting better. I got cleared about a week into the season so being able to swim again was a huge deal to me, and it just really just amplified my love for the sport,” Roberts said.

Smith emphasized that the situation is what an athlete makes of it. “As much as the process is gonna kill you, I’d just say enjoy it as much as you can. When it first happened I was really down on myself and I was really down on others and it kind of affected my relationships in a way,” Smith said.

There’s always lessons to be learned when injured, which is something Smith figured out while being sidelined. “So I believe I’ve learned to just compartmentalize my feelings toward my injury and my life and just try to enjoy it as best as I can,” Smith said.

Student-athletes are always putting themselves in tough positions for the love of a sport, and an injury doesn’t have to stop the commitment.


By Issac Fick