The topic of injuries and tibia/fibula fractures has come for front again in professional sport as well as through personal inquiries. That being said, I thought of sharing a few updates as to how my sporting life has been in the recent years since my tibia fibula fracture.
What has changed and or remained the same:
The Physical Side
It may be difficult to realize but there are hardly any differences in how I feel or compete in sports. I do, however, feel tingles at odd times on the side of my leg.
It took some time to regain my quickness but the bone healed and with no muscle or ligament damage I was able to recover all the quickness from before. Thanks to even more cardio training, I am even in better shape today than at the time of injury. Already being in shape and young when the injury happened did give me an advantage coming back into sport.
It was hard to believe at the time but the surgeon and physio were both correct in assessing the recovery of such an injury. I was eventually able to return to action 100% intensity in around a little over a year after the break.
Finally, I have noticed some discomfort in the leg when I go skiing in the winter, most likely due to the cold weather but this doesn’t last longer than a single session on the trails.
The Mental Side
There is no doubt that today in team sports I play less aggressive than before. It is not about fear of injury but more so that it could happen again and there is really little to gain. Therefore, it just isn’t worth going through the same or similar ordeal all over again.
I chose more now where and when I go into challenges and tackles. Many players today will willingly throw themselves into any challenge but as far I am concerned those days are behind me. Finally, it may sound obvious, but the top players are doing the same thing. They are picking and choosing the right moments to enter any challenge on the field of play. It is important to know what is at stake (tournament, major competition, recruitment, money etc.) and If it isn’t worth taking that risk.
Today, I have replaced club soccer with running, cycling, cross-country skiing and recreational sports on the side. I am still heavily involved in soccer coaching five days a week through our school program. It has worked out to be a great balance both physically and mentally. In addition, eating healthy and staying fit on a daily basis has worked wonders for my motivation, self discipline and pursuit of sporting development.
Though this blog was short, I can confidently say that many years after such an injury one can return to a healthy and steady dose of sporting competition. It can be done but be truthful to yourself. It will require enormous effort, dedication and self discipline.