Emily Rogers, High Jumper

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When I had just started my first year of college, I suffered the worst injury of my athletic career. Luckily it was not a very serious injury. However, I missed 13 weeks of high jump training. When I looked at this compared to the amount of time I could have been out for if I had sustained an ACL injury or grade 3 hamstring tear, for example, I counted myself lucky – after I had gotten over the devastation of not being able to train properly. None the less, I had never been unable to train for this length of time before and at the time. I was truly devastated especially because I had just started in a great athletics college and I was training with a brand new training group with people similar to myself. So I did sit under the injury and complain and feel sorry for myself for a few days. Then I decided I needed to get over it and suck it up, this injury wasn’t going anywhere any time soon. I decided I would try to find something that did not aggravate my injury and spend time working on that/those things. I discovered that running most definitely was out of the picture as that really hurt. Next I tried weights training in the gym and realized they didn’t hurt at all. I began to look at this injury as a great opportunity to get stronger in the gym (which was now only 50m from my brand new accommodation). As soon as I changed my mind set about the injury I was excited again with my new training facilities and I was determined to get stronger than I had ever been before.

As it happened, I ended up jumping a new personal best in the outdoor season in April. This was a huge deal for me as I hadn’t improved for 5 years before that i.e. I had plateaued for 5 years and that year I finally broke my 5 year old personal best.
My advice for those who may be injured would be that your mental attitude will always determine whether you get better or not, no injury will ever be stronger than the potential that your mind has to overcome it, you just have to ask yourself the question do you love your sport enough and do you want to reach your goal bad enough to endure the rehab and the lengthy time it will take to get back to where you were before the injury?
There is always something you can do just like I did extra gym work when I couldn’t run or jump. Even if your injury is too bad to engage in any sort of physical exercise you could do the rehab your physio gives you, research the best training methods or make yourself up a state of the art training program for when you do get back.

I saw a quote before that read “Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.” I found it very powerful, I thought about this a lot when I was injured and it gave me a kick start again when I needed it.

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