Stress Fracture…But I Don’t Feel Stressed?

One day in my youth I was hanging out with one of my friends at his house. Next thing I know, I am getting dragged to his taekwondo lesson to watch. Sounds boring right? But it wasn’t. I really thought it was pretty cool what the instructor had them doing. So obviously, being in my “I want…” phase, I had my parents sign me up for lessons at the same place. Little did I know, this “want” ended up reshaping my life drastically.

I always thought it was fun, due to many of my friends doing it along with me. And who wouldn’t like hitting stuff that won’t hit you back? It’s a good time, I’ll admit. Soon with time, a new facet of the sport was revealed to me….sparring. It was everything I had been learning, except now I am hitting another person who is trying to hit back. Weirdly enough a few of my close friends and I fell in love and began taking it very seriously. When it hit the point that we were tired of fighting each other, we searched for new opponents through local competitions. For some reason my friends and I were doing very well, all getting top places in our separate divisions. Our instructor was thrilled and excited to move us to the next level…nationals. At our age we were able to compete in the Junior Olympics, a yearly national competition with six regional qualifiers. The year we happened to go sign up, there was a regional qualifier in Providence, twenty minutes away from where I live. From there I traveled the country over the next few years competing, from Texas to Minnesota to Georgia to Pennsylvania to California to Michigan, constantly rated amongst the highest of competitors at my age. My best finish at this competition was a bronze medal in California. This was a very large part of my life and helped me form some of the best friendships that I still have.

Looking forward, the next place to move my competing would have been the Pan-American games, which includes many nations from central and south Americas. However, I noticed that I was starting to feel lots of pain whenever I would bend my right knee, accompanied with lots of painful cracking. After some time trying to ignore it, I sought medical attention. It turns out that I had a small stress fracture on the growth plate of my femur under my knee. Because of all the pounding and quick rotating of a kick, this formed with all my years of competing. It was advised I lay low and let this stress fracture heal, due to worries of permanent damage. I had never even heard of a stress fracture until then and learned a lot about it during the healing time. It’s a small wearing away of the bone, usually in joints, that can cause lots of pain, and should be taken seriously. This soon was a big factor in leading me away from that sport and too my new sport, running. But I am saving the story of that decision for another post. STAY TUNED…

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