09 Nov What a History of Injuries Can Teach Today’s Athlete
Let me introduce you to one of my favorite Warriors. He doesn’t want his name given, so I’m going to call him William for this piece.
His story is an inspirational one, but it is also one that teaches what it takes to manage your injury risks appropriately.
William made varsity in six different sports in high school. He says that his favorite one was soccer, but he also enjoyed baseball and basketball.
For a long time, he held the state record for the number of individual rebounds playing basketball in a single game.
It was playing basketball that brought his first knee injury. William told me that he went up high for a rebound, landed on someone’s foot, and his ACL blew out. Little did he know that this one injury would become a 20-year journey.
Injury Risks Lower When You Put in the Work
William quickly realized that the world of physical therapy required a lot of work. If he didn’t put in the effort to get better, the chances of returning to play were slim.
William said that he always knew he was a gifted athlete. It didn’t take much for him to find successful moments, so he didn’t feel like he needed to practice as much as everyone else. While everyone was busting their butt doing suicides or long distance runs, he might jog until the coach prompted him to go faster.
Once the coach wasn’t watching, he’d go back to the other speed.
William realized that his body wasn’t conditioned for the impacts that could happen while playing sports. If he’d had some extra flexibility in his joints, it might have been possible for his ACL to have survived.
After realizing this, William told me that he put in a ton of work to get back. The only problem was that he came back too soon.
William Spent Four Straight Years in Physical Therapy
William would spend the last two years of high school and the first two years of college attending physical therapy sessions three times per week. It was always the same knee.
He said that he eventually gave up. He got tired of all of the appointments, expenses, and pain.
It would be ten years before William even revisited the idea of fitness. By then, he was 150 pounds overweight. after looking in the mirror one day, he decided it was time to make a change.
That’s when he began his comeback. William started going to the gym each day. he looked for coaching opportunities in youth sports to help his community.
At the age of 37, he received an invitation to try out for a roster spot on a professional soccer team.
When I asked William what the lesson was that he wanted everybody to learn from his experiences, he told me this: “The only time you are a failure is the moment that you decide to give up forever. Until there is no longer any breath left inside of you, there is another chance to find success.”
Go find your success out there, warriors.