When an athlete is injured on the field, everyone in the stands freeze. Unfortunately, Northwood is not immune to such phenomenon. This month, The Howler focuses in on a few heartbreaking moments in Northwood sports, when the air is silent except for the prayers of parents and friends on the sidelines.
My sophomore year, I was going into a big recruiting season with club AAU basketball. At one of our championship games, I reached for a loose ball and my arm got stuck under one of the guy’s arms and he ripped my arm backward. I played through the game but my left elbow hurt a lot after, so I went to the doctor and they said that I tore a ligament in my elbow and I would have to sit out about two months and then go through a month of rehab. I had to go through the whole summer without basketball and had to go through rehab quickly before the high school season started, and I went to rehab about two times a week. At first it was tough because I could barely move my dominant arm for everyday stuff, but after a month of therapy, I managed to get back to playing.
It happened during my last club soccer game before high school season, and I was kicked in the side of the leg, which completely bent my knee inward. So I was unable to get up and was then on crutches for the next two weeks until I got an MRI, confirming that my ACL was completely torn. The doctor told me that I would not be able to play soccer again for nine months, which was devastating. I had my surgery over Winter Break and began intense physical therapy just a week after so I could get back to playing soccer. I continued with my physical therapy program for the next seven months, twice every week. The tiring therapy sessions and workouts were worth it because exactly nine months later, I was playing my first soccer game.
During a game, I was playing running back and blocking for the quarterback and a player on the other team actually missed a tackle. As he was going down, he hit my knee at a really weird angle basically causing it to bend inwards. The injury was a full MCL tear and partial meniscus tear. It was brutal.
It was the fourth meet of the season, but my third ever hurdle race. During the race, I was running down the last 100 meters in second place. Feeling the need to pass the runner in first, I ran a bit faster between the hurdles, which caused an offset in my footing. Going for another jump, I came a few inches short and my trail leg clipped the top bar of the hurdle. This ultimately forced me down on my lead leg on the track, inverting my knee. It was painful to walk, but it was even more painful when I got back to find out I was removed from the hurdles team. I never ran a single hurdles race again for the 2017 track season. Knowing that life has its ups and downs, I plan to come back to 2018’s season and run even faster times than I did before. Thinking back to this moment has motivated me to continue running and focus on further improvement.
Despite their season-ending injuries, many Northwood athletes persevere to make their way back to the field, the pool or the track after physical therapy and months of rest.