Athletes share past injury experiences

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Injuries are a common part of playing a sport. They can break careers or force athletes to come back even stronger. Senior Theo Makler, who has been swimming for 12 years, started developing a shoulder injury during his freshman year of high school. Theinjury began flaring up sophomore year, when it took a dramaticturn. “At that point, I wasn’t able to swim as much as I would have liked to and I kept going through high school season,” he said. “As soon as the high school season ended, I started taking more drastic action and at that point I was very much out of the pool.”

Last May, Makler received shoulder surgery that kept him away from the sport. Makler says he is still not completely recovered but has been working extremely hard to get there. “At this point I am increasing the yardage daily and increasing the amount of physical therapy that I am doing,” Makler said.

Staying out of the pool has been a challenge. The hardest part for Makler has been not being able to spend time with his team. “I had been swimming for 12 years and it’s like a second home. Not being able to participate in that community has been verydifficult,” Makler said. “That along with not being able to do thesport that I love to do, it’s hard to wrap my head around and it took awhile but I’m working on it.”

Senior water polo player Isobel Taylor has also struggled with an injury. “I started having problems with my elbow around sophomore year, which kept me out of the pool,” Taylor said. She tried to push through her injury but it made things worse and she had to stay out of the pool for longer. Taylor struggled with not being able to play water polo and bond with her team. “I felt like I couldn’t really help them, which was really frustrating,” she said.

Ever since Taylor started playing in sixth grade at Fletcher Middle School, water polo has become a big part of her life. Taylor says she feels weird not playing, missing the adrenaline rush she experiences from competing. But after hard work and physical therapy Taylor was able to get back in the pool. Taylor thinks that the injury improved her mental toughness and made her an overall better water polo player. “The injury really taught me how to appreciate my team and the sport because it can just be taken away so quickly,” Taylor said.