I’ve had my share of sports related injuries in the last two years, with three pulled hamstrings, two separated shoulders, and a torn meniscus.

    I’ve had my share of sports related injuries in the last two years, with three pulled hamstrings, two separated shoulders, and a torn meniscus.    

    There is one thing that holds true with every one of those injuries: every time one of them occurred I either had been out of the weight room for a while, or in the case of my hamstrings, overlifting my quads.    

    I wholeheartedly believe that if I had been lifting and strengthening those parts of my body, those injuries never would have happened, and I wouldn’t have missed 80% of the wrestling season.    

    When I pulled my hamstrings it was the summer before my junior year of football, and I was lifting with my brother, Josh, who is now the starting running back at Crown College. We did all kinds of really tough workouts, and I actually put on about ten pounds of muscle. Unfortunately our leg workouts worked our quad muscles much more than it did our hamstrings and that turned out to have quite an effect on my football season. I pulled my first hamstring at the NDSU team football camp and then later on that summer. Thinking it was close to completely healed, I pulled it again at our captain’s practice.    

    Things were not looking great for the upcoming football season going into two-a-day practices with limited mobility. “Limited” seemed to be the very word that described me in the first two games. Not being able to burst through holes I found in the defense, I was getting very upset with myself.    

    A short time after that game, I pulled the opposite hamstring at practice and I knew something was up. Through lots of strength training, hamstring lifts, and gaining speed and burst, I was able to return to full participation and get back to the sport I love.   

    I didn’t have any problems with injury after that until mid-football season of my senior year. I took a crushing blow in our game against Frazee and ended up having a second degree separation in my right shoulder. That's what you get for being a 5’6”, 170 pound fullback, I guess. I sat out that game and the next.    

    Sitting there watching might have been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. An expected time of 3-4 weeks of rest time was too much for me. I took some pain meds, put on some extra padding and suited up. Yes, it sucked and I felt extremely weak for my position, but I found a way. I wasn’t going to let any of my senior season slip away if I could help it. Then BAM I slipped off a tackle and fell hard on my opposite shoulder. I rolled over and let out a grunt. “No.. This can’t be happening again..”This thought went through my head multiple times at a rapid speed. I was helped off to the sideline and bombarded with questions that we're very familiar. “Can you move it like this?” “Does that hurt?”    

    Another separated shoulder; luckily not as serious as the other one. They rubbed some biofreeze on, and I grimaced through the rest of the game.    

    Months later it was time for wrestling, which is just as wearing on your body. I started off my season just like anyone else would who wants to succeed in wrestling, conditioning. Not the most enjoyable part of the sport, but one of the most crucial. Even with that, I started out slow this year, not quite reaching the potential I knew I had.     To add to that, in the third tournament of my senior season, I tore my meniscus. “You’ve got to be kidding me”; I had become “injury prone”.    

    So there I sat, icing and watching practices a whole month and for another three weeks after my surgery. After physical therapy and getting the rust out of my legs, I was faced with that tough question. Do I go back to wrestling for the last week and a half and risk re-tearing my knee, or play it safe and just let it rest and heal?    

    Of course being the competitor that I am, it wasn’t too hard to make that choice. I wanted to get back on the mat and finish my senior season in a way I could be proud. I was scared that I might re-tear my meniscus and ruin any chances I had of playing college football next year. I took extra precautions, using every minute of time I could to do knee strengthening exercises and workouts.    

    I believe it was thanks to those workouts that I was able to finish the season safely and without too much pain. I only wish I had been lifting in those areas before all of my injuries and saved myself from missing all of that time and all of those high school sports experiences that I will not be able to experience next year.   

    Edlund is enrolled in Toni Grove’s communications and broadcasting course at CHS.