Bouncing Back From a Break: The Road to Recovery


Caden Steele(‘26) supporting the football team despite his injury.

Athletes take the risk of getting injured every day. Some will never be able to play their sports again and injuries may still haunt them to this day. Whether it is a little soreness or a shot of pain, it can still affect their everyday lives. When senior Jenna Lee injured her shoulder, she had to face a difficult fact. 

“I did PT twice a week for about three months, and then saw a little bit of progress, but not very much,” Lee said. “So at this point, I’ve given up and accepted the fact that my shoulder will hurt me for the rest of my life.”

After injuries, athletes can still be affected years later leaving some to question whether it’s just a little sprain, or a life changing break or tear. Lee’s shoulder is still giving her issues, even two years after she initially injured it. The pain can resurface when doing everyday activities or performing physical activity. 

“It still bothers me today,” Lee said. “If I sleep on it badly, or if I’m writing an essay it starts to hurt.”

This year, freshman Caden Steele broke his wrist during a football game and the road to recovery took what felt like forever. It has not only affected his ability to play sports, but also his time in the weight room. 

“The first month or so of advanced fit really got me because my bench was down and I couldn’t hold the bar right,” Steele said.

During recovery, Steele didn’t know when, or if, he would be able to play again that season. Even though he never had to go through PT, he had to wait through nine tough weeks before he was able to see the field again.

“I ended up making like four or five JV games and two freshmen games,” Steele said.

Even though he was still feeling the effects of his injury, he persevered through the pain and kept going. 

Steele said, “I knew that if I just kept going I would be able to make a recovery and play again.”

When junior Grace Ratliff tore her MCL freshman year, she was unsure of what was to come. The shock from the size of her injury left her stunned and worried for the future. 

“The trainer at Lincoln said that I should ice it and then when I got home my knee was so big,” Ratliff said. “It was the size of a softball or even bigger. It was huge. And then it was difficult for me that night because I wasn’t sure what I could or couldn’t do.”

Recovery was not an easy task for Ratliff, and with a late start to five months of therapy, and multiple MRIs, she had an even bigger task on her hands. But with all the physical challenges, she needed to keep her head in the game. 

“It was more of a mental challenge,” Ratliff says. “I do think a lot of people will say when they have sports related injuries it’s difficult because you get in your own head.”