Junior year: fractured T8 vertebrae
Senior year: Torn MCL
Freshman year of college: Not even sure what to call this one. I tore all the ligaments in my big toe, and the sesamoid bones underneath the base of my big toe had shifted toward the back of my foot.
Three years, three injuries sustained while playing football. It’s hard for me to decide which was the worst, although this most recent one has taken by far the longest to heal. I think the fractured vertebrae probably hurt the most when it happened. Overall, I have missed 16 games in the last three years due to injury. Six my junior year, two my senior year, and all eight games this year. The truth is, I should probably have missed more. I came back from the fractured T8 after six weeks. It still hurt when I came back to play, but I thought I could play through it. I ended playing our final three games, including a playoff loss, but I was clearly not the same player as I was pre-injury. My senior year I missed two games: the last game of the regular season, against our biggest rival, and my school’s first home playoff game in ten years. It was also our first playoff win in as many years. I was able to beg my physical therapist for a chance to play in that game. I passed what is called a functional assessment test, which is a test of one’s ability to run, jump, and change direction after sustaining an injury. Despite passing the test, my doctor wouldn’t let me play. After some begging and pleading, I was allowed to play in the next playoff game. I had my knee taped up, put a brace on over that, and then more tape on top of the brace. When I put my football pants on, my left knee looked literally twice as big as my right knee. We ended up losing the game, unfortunately, as we had the ball on the 1 yard line when time ran out. I was sure that my days of getting injured were behind me when I got to Colby. I definitely won’t get injured this year, I would think, mainly because as a freshman, I wasn’t going to get a ton of playing time. But in our Bates scrimmage someone stepped on my calf while my toes were locked into the turf. It’s four months later and I still can’t walk right.
I want to relate this back to fitness. I am wondering why it’s always me? Is there something I’m doing wrong that puts me at a high risk of injury? All three incidents were freak accidents. My junior year it happened while I was making a tackle, my senior year it happened when I was returning a punt, and my freshman year it happened while I was blocking. They all seem so unrelated to me. I can’t figure out why I get injured to the point of missing games so often. I like to think it’s not a lack of toughness, anyone would have been able to play with a fractured vertebrae or a torn MCL or all the ligaments in their big toe torn. I see it with professional football players all the time too. Some players are just so much more likely to get hurt than others. Percy Harvin seems to be an example of this. He’s a great player when he’s healthy, but he always seems to have some sort of injury that keeps him sidelined. Well anyways, next year is the year that I break my streak.