The last time I competed was in spring of 2016, during our conference championship meet I tore my upper right hamstring. I was a long/triple jumper, during that year I dealt with a lower hamstring injury I suffered in October, the whole season I was in and out of the lineup, I’d constantly aggravate it. When I was competing normally in the spring, starting late March I was only practicing twice a week because my entire hamstring would be sore for the next 2-3 days and we competed on Saturdays and Sundays, so I had make sure my hamstring wasn’t sore come meet day. Unfortunately a lot of my teammates thought I was dogging it or faking it, if only they knew what I was going through.
I continued practicing twice a week without any problems, I even jumped my second furthest jump ever doing this. At our championship meet my first jump was terrible, however, the second jump would’ve been perfect, I’m sure it would’ve been my furthest jump ever, everything felt good, I felt very powerful at takeoff and I was right on the board. Unfortunately for me the moment I took off it felt like someone shot me right below my right glute, where the hamstring connects.
The moment was beautifully captured by my ex-girlfriend. As you can see I screamed out in pain and immediately hopped on one leg into the corner and leaned against the fence, I had tears in my eyes, not because of the pain, which was very intense, but because I loved the sport and all season long I had been dealing with the original lower hamstring injury, and in my head I knew that it would be the last time I would compete. The season had been a mental battle for me, I had thought about telling the coach it would be best to just redshirt, which would’ve been the smart move, however, all athletes have a very hard time giving it up even for their own benefit. I was no different. When the summer arrived I thought long and hard for two months, I finally sent an email to my coach letting him know I would not be returning. Explaining that for the first time in my life I did not enjoy the sport, and also letting him know just how bad my injury was, which I still deal with till this day at a much lower scale.
I would look forward to practices and day dream all day about jumping far at the meets, however, during that year, I was hardly practicing and I would be very nervous at the meets I did go to fearing that I would aggravate my injury. Although at my last meet I didn’t aggravate the original injury, the original injury had everything to do with the one I suffered, which was worst. Our bodies work as a system, if one part is not working properly it puts a lot of strain on the other functioning parts. Due to the fact that my lower hamstring had been compromised since October of that year, it took a toll on the rest of my hamstring, and finally it was too much on that fateful day, ending all of my goals in the sport of track and field. I had dreamed and wholeheartedly believed that before I graduated college I would jump 25ft or 7.52m. My personal best was my freshman year, I jumped 7.12 at our championship meet, I came in fourth and I was very unhappy about that. I was dealing with injuries that year as well, however I was able to stay healthy for the last three months of that season, and I was able to significantly improve each week leading up to our championship meet.
I was never able to reach my potential because of injuries unfortunately, I only jumped for three years total and only one of those years was not injury filled, and it was my senior year in high school, I remember telling my coach I would be switching from distance running to jumping, and he looked at me and said “I don’t think you’re body can handle that” I was tall, lanky, and slender. I sometimes think to myself “you know what, maybe he was right”. The thing is, I became a state qualifier jumping for one year, as a distance runner I couldn’t even make the county meet. I had the talent for it, I had always been very explosive, but my durability sucked to be plain and simple, I had been injury prone even as a distance runner, I could have, however, taken steps to reduce my injuries, but I didn’t know any better, but now I do and I can help you with those things, all you have to do is subscribe to my blog, subscribe to my YouTube, and follow me on Instagram. I do a lot of injury prevention exercises and talk about them as well. Till next to, and remember “to be the best you must practice like the best, to beat the best you must practice like the best”.