by Olin Meinders

In case you didn’t know, I currently have a fresh four millimeter screw holding a bone in my elbow together. If you think that sounds bad, you should see the x-rays. It all fell apart (figuratively and literally) about a month ago when I simply put my arm out to break a fall while being tackled during a football game. It’s still crazy to me that a split second decision caused something that prevents me from playing sports and nearly all physical activities for three months.

At first, I thought my elbow was just hyperextended; then it turned out it was broken, and then it turned out I needed surgery if I ever wanted to play sports again. On top of that, I currently can’t drive because my doctor said I shouldn’t for a full month. Everything felt like it could only get worse.

It wasn’t until after surgery that I began to realize how lucky I actually was. My doctor told me that if I was fully grown the ligament in my elbow would’ve torn instead of the bone breaking. Had that been the case I would’ve needed Tommy John Surgery, which would mean no baseball in the summer. Another reason I consider myself lucky is that I will get back full range of motion in my elbow. There was a chance that my elbow would still be stiff, which would’ve made throwing a baseball pretty tricky. Thankfully, it looks like I’ll have a perfectly functioning elbow by December. Despite having to take three months off of sports and going to physical therapy twice a week, I still think a lot of things went right for me. It’s important to have a positive mindset with these things. Yeah, it sucks that I can’t play football this season; however this could’ve happened during my junior or senior year, but for me there’s next season. If you sit around thinking about all the bad things that have happened to you, the only way you can go is backwards. The best thing you can do is to stay positive and just get through it. It’s like my good friend in journalism, Mia Burns always says, “Keep on trucking.”

A good thing you can do to make sure you don’t get too behind is to set goals and making sure you’re actually doing something to achieve those goals. By the time I’m able to do sports, I’m probably going to be out of shape, so at the moment I’m doing whatever physical activity I can (which isn’t much). I realize that this injury could potentially be a big setback, so I’m going to do everything I can to make it as small of a setback as possible.

Before this injury I really did think that my life revolved around sports, but now that sports have been temporarily taken away from me, I don’t think that’s true. Sports took up most of my time outside of school, but they definitely aren’t the most important thing in my life. So to everyone reading this who plays sports and thinks they can’t live without them: You can.