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Get Back on Your Feet

Updated: Jun 17, 2019

Injuries are something that affect athletes not only physically, but also mentally. I know that because I have experienced it first-hand and have seen the devastating effects they leave on other athletes.

It’s one of those things where you constantly ask yourself, why me? I have always believed that God gives the hardest battles to his strongest soldiers. He knows who is resilient enough to tackle adversity head on. It is to every single athlete out there who has ever been sidelined due to an injury that I am speaking to. To those who have ever suffered an injury or are currently suffering from one, I understand your frustration.

I had a major hip surgery at 18 years old, and soon after, I ended my track career. Granted it was a personal decision, I was never able to get back to where I once was. This was hard on me. I grew up playing basketball and running track, so this really affected me – mentally and physically. I managed it through middle school and high school; however, I was always limited in certain exercises, weight lifting, or workouts, and I never had a true diagnosis. As many times as I went to the doctor, trainer or chiropractor, no one could figure out what was wrong. With that, I became increasingly frustrated and confused, believing that I would have to deal with the pain for the rest of my life.

It wasn’t until I went off to college that my hip pain really escalated. It got to the point where I couldn’t run anymore due to the pain or sleep normally without being uncomfortable. I went in to see a hip specialist, and after multiple visits and an inconclusive diagnosis, I was recommended to Mayo Clinic. During my first visit, my doctor immediately diagnosed me with hip dysplasia and a labral tear. I saw two surgeons who ended up operating on me for a combined surgery. I had a PAO (peri-acetabular-osteotomy) in which my left hip was broken in half, rotated and screwed back together, along with a hip arthroscopy. I now have an 8-inch scar to proudly show off as a battle wound (HA)!

Let me just say. . . that was a long and painful recovery. I was gone from school for over a month and missed out on a lot of track practices and meets. I wasn’t able to be around the team because I was laid up at home and when I came back, I was busy catching up with schoolwork and going to physical therapy. My emotional state was at an all-time low, and I felt that my world had been flipped upside down. I went from doing something that I absolutely loved, which was running, to sitting in my dark room, alone. All I wanted was to get back on my feet, literally. After months of physical therapy and trying to get back to running, I was told I may never be able to run again due to the pain. Two years went by and while I started becoming more active, my other hip began causing me more pain. I went back in, only to find out that I had a significant labral tear and some other structural indecencies that I won’t bore you with. However, long story short. . . I ended up having surgery on my right hip this past January and am still in the process of recovering.

Now, I’m not here looking for sympathy or complaining about everything that has happened to me. What I am here for is to tell my story so other athletes understand that they aren’t alone. At the moment of injury, you feel like the whole world has come crashing down on you. So many questions run through your head like am I going to be able to run again? Will I lose my starting spot? How long is this going to take? Will I be able to get back to where I was? I may not know the answers to those questions, but what I do know is that everything happens for a reason.

Adversity has made me a stronger person and has taught me to care less about how “bad” I have it and care more about how good I have it. I am thankful to be alive and to have supportive friends and family who are always there for me. It is during the toughest times that we need to surround ourselves with positive people because they are the ones who push us in the right direction.

For any athlete out there, who has ever suffered an injury or for anyone currently suffering from one, know that you aren’t alone. God was by your side all along even though it may not have felt like it. He's always been there. In fact, it’s during the toughest times that we need to rely on God and trust that He will heal the wound.

He will get you back on your feet.

How did you overcome your injury? Share your story with SportRecovery!

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