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When what you love most, is taken away from you – without any chance of fighting it – it either breaks you or makes you stronger. That’s how injuries feel to sport dedicated people. From starting player to sideline bystander within a few seconds. All the hard off season work seems to be in vain. There’s no logic involved. There’s no cool headed calculating when one will be back. Only tremendous amounts of pain – I’m not talking physical pain – but emotional.
Let me make it clear, that for me there’s to types of injuries. I – the mind of injuries that allow as a first question “Am I going to play next weekend?”. I know this sounds ridiculous, but even with injuries that seem severe from the outside – that’s always the first thought. II – you know right then and there that your season is over.
The second type is how my 2019 season ended. The injury to my syndesmosis against Cologne was painful, and sitting out the highlight game against Brunswick in the big stadium even more. In the end though it was nothing more than an inconvenience every player has to deal with during their careers.
A whole different situation presented itself with this one. For coaches, teammates and the closely following fan it was obvious that I had been battling a shoulder injury since the game against Potsdam just before the summer break. I played in games I shouldn’t have played in. I went through pain, I shouldn’t have went through. I took pain medication and Stephi sling-taped the arm extra heavy to my shoulder – all signs that I shouldn’t have been out there on the field.
But that’s exactly how much that sport means to me, many of my teammates and plenty of players out there.
But what for? To keep the dream alive a little longer. Because standing on that field with friends, that might very well be family as well, the excitement of the game, It’s exactly that – A Wonderful Dream. So I buried my medical second guessing in the back of my head. I knew it was a ticking bomb and one unlucky tackle could end the season and make surgery a necessity.
I made that decision consciously.
We play Hildesheim, the game is balanced in the beginning. I look to Glen in the backfield hoping he sees what I see. Theres no safety on top of me, the whole center of field seems to be open. Our running game has drawn the Linebackers close to the line of scrimmage. Glen gives a signal, audibles the play, he’s seeing what I see. I look back towards the field and the safeties then to the ball. Hermann snaps the ball, I run almost untouched past the Outside Linebacker, the ball flies towards me, I catch it good for around 25 yards, take a few more steps and get surprisingly tackled from behind. Only 2 more yards to reach the endzone, but I’m not aware of that in the moment. Heavy pain shoots into my shoulder and I know – my season is over.
I think throughout my whole Karate and Football career I never felt a pain this strong. Vertigo, Restlessness, Anxiety, Nausea. But the way worse part comes hours later at the party after the win. My arm resting in a sling I realize – I might have played the last game in my career today. Surrounded by a mob of partying people and teammates I suddenly feel alone and empty.
The whole coping process with injuries and situations like this is not part of this post. (But will follow soon as a pastor this “Injury-Series”)
this is only my first hand experience of the things that happened.
A story on the injury of #29 Martin Jacob, that hospitalized him with a brain injury, is following soon. At the end of this Injury-Series will stand a guide on how to deal with injuries. Compiled by the best tips from different Monarchs Players.
To close this I want to say how grateful I am towardsPhysical Therapist Stephi, Coach Robert Cruse, Doctor Axel Klein and the Traumatic Surgery Team around Prof. Dr. med. Philip Gierer. Together they put me on the surgery schedule and the way of healing within a few short days. Thank You!!!
Medical Student, Semiprofessional American Football Player and Surfer. Trying to bring valuable lessons to you in writing inspiring stories about people who touched my personal journey through life.
If you can take away one single thing from every story, I reached my goal.