When Sports Injuries in High School Affect the Rest of Your Life
When I was in high school I played football, linebacker and running back, and I felt it was the greatest thing in the world. I looked forward to the games each week, and I was even one of the odd kids that liked practice. I truly enjoyed the competition and the hitting, but all that came at a price, though I didn’t know at the time. I was doing irreparable harm to my body, especially my knees.
In my junior year, in the 3rd game I tore my medial collateral ligament in a play where someone blocked me low and from the side of my right knee. According to California Pacific Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, this is one of the most common injuries that football players receive (2015). In 1990, when this happened to me, there was very little outside of major surgery to repair this injury, which meant 9-12 months of recovery time. All for the football gods!
Now at age 42 I wake up every day and it takes me 15-20 to get my body going without pain. As a father of 3 boys who all played football as well, I have made them wear knee guards and be aware of positions which are harder on the knee joints. I would say to all parents of potential football players in high school, the boys will love and cherish their time playing with their friends and classmates, but know that this may come at a price in the long run. For me, the price was worth it, I loved every second of playing football and even played in a mens league until I was 39. If they love it, use as much protection as possible to avoid injuries, but encourage them to play!
Football Injuries. (2015). In California Pacific Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. Retrieved June 22, 2015.