Ranch Reflection – Injury presents new challenge to successful athlete

Ranch Reflections are articles written by students who want to share their experiences, thoughts, and concerns. This is a great opportunity for students to branch out beyond traditional news stories.

Sam Hester – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – One thing that can crush an athlete like no other is bad injury at an even worst time. I was affected by such an injury this year at the state semi-finals for basketball.

sam hester on scooter
The author deals with his injury

Three minutes into the game, I completely tore one ligament in my ankle, partially tore another, and strained my achilles tendon. This was my first real injury and I wasn’t really sure how to deal with it. You may think the only thing that can come out of an injury like this is bad, but there are actually many good lessons that can be taken out of an injury.

The first thing I had to learn was staying positive for my teammates. This was pretty difficult considering a goal I had been working on since the fifth grade, helping my team win a state championship, had been crushed and there was nothing I could do about it.

I normally have a very active lifestyle so it wasn’t easy to not be able to go outside and move around a lot. I couldn’t mess around and shoot a basketball or play catch with some friends; this led to some very boring afternoons on my couch watching Netflix and eating chips.

I couldn’t walk on my ankle for over a month-and-a-half so my doctor recommended that I get a knee scooter to get around school more easily. Let me just say, riding one of those scooters is much more difficult than you may think, especially when your school has a large crack in the ground every three feet. At first the scooter was no easy task but with time I learned to ride it without falling and making myself look like a fool.

The last thing I had to learn, and am currently still learning, is being patient and not pushing my ankle too far; recovery takes time. There have been many instance where I have wanted to do something, and felt I can, but had to pass knowing it could end up having a negative impact on my ankle.

This injury has been a learning experience, and perhaps others can learn from my experience as well.