What Doesn’t Kill You Only Makes You Stronger – August Healthy Living/Fitness Blogger Writing Challenge – Aug. 8th
For today’s challenge topic, the Fitness Cheerleader wanted to know about our worst injuries. Having to choose one for me would be like having to pick which child is your favorite (that’s why I only have the one). I’m injury prone. The running joke on how I ended up working in sports medicine as an athletic trainer is that if I was going to be spending as much time as I did in the training room, I might as well be getting paid for it. It’s a little depressing to read an orthopedic assessment text-book and realize that you’ve had most of the injuries listed. It’s even more depressing when you always get picked on lab day to be the model for the “and this is what the test isn’t supposed to feel like” example. Yet I keep on going.
Broken Arm #1 and #2
I was lucky enough to break my left arm not once, but twice when I was 7 years old. Break #1 happened at recess playing kick ball. I tripped and fell while running to first base, breaking one of the bones in my lower arm near my wrist. This was 2 days before summer vacation. 6 weeks later, the cast came off, and I was excited to finally be able to go to the pool with my friends and play without that hot, itchy, pain in the ass cast on. I had it off all of a day before re-breaking my arm. I was playing with some neighborhood kids in the back of my dad’s truck. I jumped out, lost my balance and tried to catch myself with my hands when I landed. Not only did I completely break the one bone that had just healed, but I also partially broke the other bone. They had to fully break it at the hospital to set it properly. 14 weeks and an entire summer in a cast later, I finally got a clean bill of health 2 days before returning back to school. This was also when I decided I was going to be an orthopedist when I grew up.
My First Sprained Ankle
I honestly have lost count as to how many ankle sprains I’ve had over the years. However, none of them compare to that first one. One week before the playoffs for the Kansas State soccer championships, I managed to do quite the number on my ankle playing on my neighbor’s trampoline. I was on crutches for most of that week leading up to the playoffs. My coach was ready to kill me, as I was our starting goalie. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t jump. It was my kicking foot, so I couldn’t take kicks or punt the ball. Not to mention my ankle was a beautiful shade of blue and purple by game time and still roughly the size of my knee. A tape job and 2 braces helped me be somewhat more useful than sticking a mall mannequin in net. Luckily, my team qualified for the semifinals, which were held a few weeks later, giving me plenty of time to get back to full strength in time to win a state championship and advance to the midwest regional tournament.
My Poor Knee
Fast forward a few years to the summer before my sophomore year in high school. While at an end of season soccer tournament, I collided with one of the opposing players, tearing my MCL and menicus. I was fortunate that the ACL wasn’t involved. I was also lucky that my doctor at the time was one of the few that didn’t put meniscus tears under the knife automatically. She gave me the option of trying some intense physical therapy to see if I could regain the strength and range of motion in my knee before sending me to see a surgeon. I worked my ass off. Three days before high school tryouts started and one day before the Olympic Development tryouts, I was cleared to return to sports. 16 years later, and I’ve still managed to avoid the knife.
Why I Hate Jillian Michaels
2 years ago, I strained my soleus. I blame Jillian Michaels. I was training for my fall races, including the Twin Cities Marathon. Why do I blame Ms. Michaels? Not being able to get a workout in, I popped in 30 Day Shred. Having been in pretty good shape, I decided to do level 3. Stupid. Those jump sumo squats made my calves very angry. The next day, I went out for an easy run. I came to a slight uphill and felt my calf tighten. Thinking it was just a cramp, I stretched and kept going. Next hill, I was done. If you’ve never strained your soleus, I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s one of those muscles most people don’t even know they have until they injure it. And apparently, you use it… A LOT! Every time I would feel like I was ready to run, I would go out and restrain it as soon as I came to a hill of any kind. I was off running for 6 weeks. I missed all of my fall races, including Twin Cities. I haven’t done 30 Day Shred since. If anyone wants my copy, I will gladly send it to you.
There were others that didn’t make the list. A couple of concussions, a broken nose, bruised ribs, straining both hamstrings simultaneously, multiple ankle sprains, more broken fingers and toes than I can count, a stress fracture in my shin, torn cartilage in one of my shoulders, multiple bouts of achilles tendinitis. The list goes on and on. It’s no wonder I ended up with a career in sports medicine. I’m just holding out hope that my body lasts until they really are able to make bionic women.