Injuries can hinder way of life

Breaking my leg impaired not only my body and sports career, but it affected my mentality too

Sam Lopez, JagWire news editor

When the newspaper staff had to brainstorm opinion ideas for this issue, the topic of injuries came up from a fellow member of mine, senior Claire Biles. I hadn’t planned on writing an opinion this issue, but when Claire said that after dislocating her kneecap, it hasn’t been all that bad during her recovery, I couldn’t help but disagree. Although I praise Claire for having a “glass half full” outlook on her injury, having broken my right leg and destroying all of the ligaments in my ankle back in July and still not being able to do a whole lot with my right leg alone five months later, I can’t help but have a “glass half empty” outlook on my own injury. I’m not at all trying to be a pessimist, it’s just that injuries like these are incredibly degrading physically, and even more so mentally, for people who are generally active.

For starters, I’ve never been one to ask for help from anyone, ever. After breaking my leg, I had to come to terms with the fact that I couldn’t do simple tasks such as getting a plate of food, showering, or going up and down the stairs without a lot of effort. For months, I had to push off my responsibilities around the house onto the rest of my family and rely on them for self-care such as icing, medication, food, etc. I felt like a burden and a nuisance to anyone when I asked them to help me with a task that would normally take minimal effort.

Due to the fact that I had to rely on others for everyday help, I laid around the house expending zero physical effort. Not only was I too stubborn mentally to be down and out for five months, but I now had to watch the muscle in my right leg deteriorate. This affected me way more than I anticipated. I knew that I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I used to be physically. But watching it happen before my own eyes was crushing because I pride myself on being active and generally fit and I continue to struggle with how I feel physically.

It wasn’t some miracle story about how I worked through this injury by staying positive and working hard.”

— Sam Lopez

While breaking my leg was mentally and physically stressful, what really hit me was that it pretty much wiped my soccer career off the face of the Earth. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to play high school soccer this year and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get back into club soccer right away. What sucked even more was the disconnect I felt from the teams I call my soccer family and that affected my soccer career more than anything else. While I know that I will eventually recover and be able to play sports again — such as being able to snowboard this winter as that isn’t as hard on my ankle — I was still taken away from something that I loved.

As much as I advocate for an optimistic outlook on life, there’s just not a whole  lot of positive things that I could get out of breaking my leg besides not having to do chores for a good four months. I was limited in what I could do physically, no matter how much I strived to do what I could to recover.

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