Outside the Boxley: The long run


By Austin McDermott

As I woke up today on a cold northwest fall morning I thought to myself “why do my knees, feet, and back hurt so badly?” I quickly remembered all the times physicians recommended that I didn’t compete in a game, and being the stubborn athlete that I was, I played anyway.  Athletes are constantly placed in this predicament; the limbo between being seriously injured or just hurt is a battle that each athlete will have to fight if they compete long enough.

The term “pain is only temporary” is popular in sports and is the most deceiving saying of them all.  The pain that an athlete feels while injured can be temporary if they get the right treatment, and take the appropriate amount of time off from their specific sport. The problem is, often student athletes have skewed perceptions of how an injury will affect them in the long run. I understand how this happens because we only think of injuries as being sports related. What we don’t think is that our athletic career is a very short portion of our lives. Even if an athlete takes the professional route they will still live longer than their athletic career.

After athletics a person may want to be able to walk or even run; if they are lucky maybe jump. Don’t take your health for granted. The ability to quickly heal and come back from injuries will inevitably end. Especially high school student athletes; I can’t tell you how many wheel chairs, crutches and medical boots I see on a daily basis.  When I ask a student what they are doing to take care of their injury they usually admit to neglect. They then turn the conversation toward their desire to get back into competition.

The first focus of an injured athlete needs to be complete rehabilitation, then their long term health, and finally they can focus on rejoining competition.  I consider myself lucky for dodging any serious injuries that ail me today other than the typical former athlete’s aches and pains. Although considering that I’m only 26, I can’t imagine what this pain will feel like when I’m 60, can you?


Editor’s note: due to a short leave of absence by one of the sports editors, Outside the Boxley was put on hold due to this absence, not on part of Michael Boxley. Plan on the return of the column every other Thursday.