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You Don't Have to be Alone

Updated: May 8, 2019

Nicole Weir, a physical therapist at Twin Cities Orthopedics, has always had a passion for working with athletes as that is her background. Weir attended Iowa State University, where

she took on an internship with the athletic training department and received her bachelor's degree in kinesiology.

After graduation, she attended the University of Minnesota where she earned her doctorate in physical therapy. Weir has worked at Twin Cities Orthopedics for over eight years now and has seen many patients suffer from injuries, surgery, disease, etc. However, from what she has seen, athletes in particular, are the ones who have such strong emotional ties to their injury. The question is, why?

Well, most athletes identify with their sport(s), and it becomes a reflection of who they are as a person. Weir says,"that's their identity." When an athlete is injured and their sport is taken away from them, it's a huge adjustment. She states, "As a teenager, life is hard enough and when you go through a change like that, it affects their recovery, it affects their mental state, it affects their goals and where they thought they would be at that point." This leads athletes to begin reflecting on their life and start throwing around questions. Why did this happen to me? Am I going to be able to get back to where I was?

Weir explains that after an injury, athletes (especially teenagers), "have to reroute things and figure out how to get back to where they want to be." Dealing with injuries is already hard enough, but when you are young and still finding yourself, it truly alters your identity and tests your resiliency.

A lot of times, athletes begin to feel alone because they aren't able to practice with the team or attend games depending on their physical therapy or surgery schedule. Therefore, even though it is hard, Weir says, "One of the biggest things is if you are part of a team, try to stay with that team." She mentions that you can take stats or do sit ups on the sideline. Something as little as that can make a big difference in your overall emotional state.

In the end, don't be afraid to seek help. Be open and talk about your feelings with your family, friends or a mental health specialist. Do whatever you can to stay part of your team and surround yourself with positive people. It's easy to feel isolated after an injury, but you aren't alone. There is no right way to handle an injury, but find which way works best for you and stick with it.

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