Overcomer: Going Back To Sports After An Injury


Ava Padelford, Co-Editor

Getting injured in your sport completely turns your world around. It seems to take away that one thing you’ve been working towards for months. Spending time working out and becoming a better athlete takes time and dedication. Working hard preseason just to get hurt during the season is one of the biggest challenges an athlete can go through.


Last year, this very thing happened to me. I trained all preseason, worked my butt off, spent hours in the weight room, just to get hurt. 


The “I did all this for nothing” never helped me get through the hard time I was facing. Instead, I choose to view it in the way of me getting my body super strong to deal with the injury I had. I tore my ACL, MCL, meniscus, and fractured my femur and tibia all in one track accident. I realize now that if I hadn’t been working out and gaining strength for the season, my body wouldn’t have been able to bounce back as fast as it did from the injury.


Now, as a senior, I want to make this a year to remember. Track is my sport and I have loved it since freshman year. Getting hurt my junior year made me feel as though I’d never be able to compete again. I constantly believed the lies that continued to put me in a dark depression. I was hurting, physically and mentally. 


With that being said, track was something that took away the worries of the world. As I pushed myself, I wasn’t stressing over work or school but I was simply focused on getting through the finish line or hitting a new PR. Track was my therapy. 


Choosing to go back to your sport after a serious injury is terrifying and so exciting all at once. 


The constant fear of “what if I get hurt again” is always in the back of my mind. I contemplated for a while whether or not I should go back. I was stressed out about it and still am. I feel though that if I don’t go back, I’ll regret it.


It’s hard to trust that your body is really healed after being told that you can’t do things for so long. 


I wasn’t able to walk for 3 months, wasn’t able to run for 7 months and when I was finally allowed to, I felt very hesitant. Trusting the healing process is difficult, but it’s a part of growth and understanding the injury. When I was cleared by my surgeon to go back to doing track, I had tears in my eyes. Being immoble for so long, I couldn’t believe I was able to do the sport I love again. I am scared to go back, but I know I have the strength to do so. It’s the matter of believing I have the strength that will determine my ability within the sport. 


Deciding to go back to your sport is a power move and shows that you’re unstoppable. Going back to your sport and succeeding would be a crazy comeback. No one would see it coming!


Getting back into the sport is challenging but not impossible.


Training for me recently has been brutal. I am not in the shape I once was in. I went on a run a few days ago and went for about a mile. By the time I got home, my knee was tingling and burning and it scared me. I had a moment where I thought maybe I wasn’t cut out to go back to track. I laid on the cold concrete in front of my house and just stared at the sky. After my runs, I would always cry or be super upset. I was angry and felt that I’d never be as good as I once was. 


Healing takes time, and though you want to go back to your sport, don’t be discouraged that you’re not as good as you once were. 


I realized that I was still healing and not to be too hard on myself. I prioritized working on skills I would need to use for the new event I would be doing: javelin. I am excited to start this event and a new chapter of my life.


It’s so important to be optimistic and have courage to overcome the fears of going back to your sport. It will be scary, and you may have a hard time getting back into it, but the second you do, it will be completely worth it.