In the past five years, we have witnessed how more and more Filipinos are getting into a fit lifestyle. I remember it started where running became the latest craze and fun runs were being held at least once a month in the metro. Fast forward to today, when those friendly races are bumped to the side, as full marathons are what people are looking forward to. This lifestyle also gave birth to hosting triathlon races, increasing number of CrossFit boxes and boxing gyms, and of course fully booked multi-purpose courts all week long.
One of these days, your friends might invite you to join them in a spinning class or try out a WOD (workout of the day) in the nearest CrossFit box in your office. It sounds fun to jump right in thinking about all the benefits of exercising, but it is also good to know that since these are physical activities, there are some precautions that you should know about. Working out is beneficial but sometimes one can get hurt with accidents, bad form or, ironic as it is, being unfit. With the growing number of physical activities available to a person these days, it’s logical to witness more injuries taking place.
It is noteworthy how torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament, one of the ligaments that holds the knee bones together) is becoming a common injury for athletes. The older generation would say that a few if not nobody tore their ACL during their time. This might be true but due to developments in diagnosing injuries and the tougher level of competition today, it has indeed become common. Sports that involve a quick change of direction especially in contact sports, like basketball, football, and frisbee are most likely to have these incidents. This UAAP season for women’s volleyball would show how prevalent the injury is in this sport alone. Some of the athletes who have made and are making a comeback are UST’s Pam Lastimosa, UP’s Kathy Bersola, La Salle’s Des Cheng and Ateneo’s Tolentino, Madayag, Gopico, and Morado. Also, if we look back in 2015, just in four months time, three of the De La Salle Lady Spikers— Galang, Cruz and Cheng suffered from this athlete’s nightmare.
And with the timely incident that Kevin Durant faced just this Tuesday night, also with my own experience tearing my ACL, I want to shed light on the journey through a serious injury.
Pop! Click! Something isn’t right. Immediately you feel a sharp pain going through your body. Everything stops for a while and then you realize, you’re injured.
Injuries vary in degree — some are simple bruises or soreness that would go away in a matter of days, and some are bone fractures or ligament tears that would take at least half a year to recover from. It’s also more than just getting physical recovery; it is a psychological war against yourself.
Suffering from a serious injury is frustrating especially at the beginning. You become a different person. You’ll have the sense of helplessness having to walk around with an immobilizer on one entire leg, sometimes using crutches to support you, which takes a bit too much time to do anything. You get that unsettling feeling, as you’re another person’s responsibility to be taken care of; you’ll start to feel that you’re a burden to those around you. Once an independent adult becomes a helpless individual. As part of a team, it is also disheartening to be sidelined as you watch the games that you’re supposed to be playing in. As much as you want to celebrate wins, you don’t feel that genuine joy since you think of yourself as nothing but a cheerleader at the time; slowly, you don’t feel part of the team anymore.
One day you go through physical rehab and part of the excruciating pain that you deal with is the misery that sets in when you think about how you can’t do what you love most for a while. Weeks feel like months, months feel like years, and you just can’t wait to be your normal sprinting-self again. You would need to face the fact that probably by the time you get your old physique, you would have to go through the grind once again to fight for a spot in the team against younger and healthier athletes. You would definitely need to conquer your mind to do move ordinarily without being conscious of your prior injury. It takes mental toughness to not mind that you were once injured to the point that you couldn’t function normally. It will get intimidating as soon as you step inside the court — to be on the same court where you injured yourself, to play against the same opponents when it happened, to do the same motion, play or technique when you fell. You will rely on your hunger to get back in the game, which would propel you to perform well. At the end of the day, you’ll tell yourself that all those hours at the clinic, and the gym, all the pain that I’ve been through is all for this moment — my comeback.
So, huge respect to those who have suffered from major setbacks and still chose to get back to the path they fell from. You are the real MVP.
It’s not that I’m trying to terrorize the thought of engaging in a physical activity. I only advise that we should be aware of the consequences from these and that we should take steps in preventing mishaps from occurring. Stretch longer, put in the extra mile, read up about these exercises — be smart about getting fit! And if an unfortunate event happens don’t forget to RICE: Rest, Ice Compression, Elevation!