Conditions + Treatments
I am from Homewood, Alabama, and am now a senior at Westminster School at Oak Mountain. After playing soccer most of my life, I decided to try out cross country and track in 8th grade and quickly fell in love with running. I enjoyed three successful, smooth years of competition (for the most part) up until the summer before my junior year. I had big plans for improving my times and maybe even running collegiately, but all of that crumbled before my eyes over the course of a few weeks.
While playing football with my friends in May of 2021, I took a weird step and immediately went down as pain shot into my knee. My parents and coach were concerned, but we decided to let it rest, and I was back to running with only a little bit of discomfort after a couple weeks. When I twisted it again on a family beach trip and the pain refused to subside, we finally went to the doctor for an MRI. He confirmed the worst news possible: my ACL was completely torn, and surgery was the only option.
My mom researched surgeons until we found Dr. Lyle Cain at Andrews Sports Medicine. My experience with him was amazing! He was the first person to give me hope of returning to competition quickly while at the same time remaining realistic. He and his team encouraged me every step of the way. My surgery was on June 15, 2021, and afterwards I dove into PT and strength training with vigor. I was determined to work as hard as I could in order to recover as quickly as possible. My work paid off in early November when I was cleared to compete in cross country state-- only 5 months post-op! I ran in a brace, and although my time was much slower than usual, I’ve never been prouder of a race.
However, the adversity didn’t end with the fall. Although I was fully cleared after passing my Biodex test at the 6-month mark, I still had to battle a stress fracture in my opposite leg from the overcompensation of the brace. Additionally, it takes time and patience to recover five lost months of fitness. Throughout all of track, I fought through blood, sweat, and tears; bad races and worse ones.
Mentally, I had to deal with the fact that I might never set a personal record ever again. Yet redemption came! At outdoor state, one year after my initial injury, I ran 4 races in the span of two days. I became the 2A individual state champion of the mile and 2 mile and helped my team win gold in the 4x800M relay. I placed second in the 800 and set my first new personal record. Now, I am completely healthy and training for my senior season! As Psalm 30:5 says, “weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Thank you to Andrews Sports Medicine and Dr. Cain for helping me return to what I love!