For students attending BHS, sports are just one of those things you balance between homework, tests, and the occasional part-time job. It’s second nature and entirely easy to forget that it’s technically an optional activity– even if it doesn’t feel that way. At least, that’s how it felt for one anonymous student, who recalls the emptiness that followed her injury.
“Sports were my life,” she said. “They were my whole identity. I am now relearning my self-value, separate from the sports I play. I’m me because of who I am, not because of the times I run.”
As briefly introduced above, sports and other recreational activities come with the risk of injury. The specific types of injury are hard to predict. It could be anything from a minor concussion to something way more severe, like the tearing of the Anterior cruciate ligament (or ACL). Whichever injury you find yourself with, the difficulties you’ll face will not change, and neither will the stress of their disappointments.
“Sitting on the sidelines and watching the game from the bench was always difficult,” said Varsity Soccer player Abigail Bolin ’25, who suffered from a lower body extremity last year. “I felt kinda helpless. I couldn’t do anything to support my team physically the way I knew I had been able to previously.”
Beating the back-to-basics blues is not as simple as merely changing your attitude, although one would think so.
One of the more significant factors is learning how to support others while giving yourself grace. It doesn’t matter if you cheered your team to victory or completed a more personal goal toward recovery because both have positive impacts. It’s hard to be a glass half-full in a half-empty world, but if you take the time to look, influencing others will have something to do with ease.
“I’ve always been a very relationally driven person,” said Claire Erickson ’24, an injured captain also in the Varsity soccer program. “Being able to connect with every person on the team, whether JV or Varsity or anyone else in the Soccer program, is super important to me. I’m so glad I could build relationships with everyone, even if I couldn’t do it on the field.”
Bolin agreed, “Even though I couldn’t bond in the same way most of the others were able to, I enjoyed my role on the team. I tried really hard to be a supportive teammate, someone the younger girls could come to for support. Even though they can’t comprehend what I’m going through, we can still relate. I used to be them, and I understand how it feels to be one of them.”
Even though the consequences and memories attached to an injury never go away, they don’t have to be unpleasant.
“I absolutely loved hearing the commentary on the sidelines,” said Erickson. “Everyone was always so electric, especially when someone was on a breakaway or about to score a goal. Even the coaches were jumping up and down with the sideline players. It was just a really fun atmosphere.”
Claire Erickson, Abigail Bolin, and our anonymous player all found strategies amid their pain to cause a difference in the world around them, and all three succeeded because every achievement is a win, large or small.