Ultimate Frisbee is a sport that can be the root of many injuries. Although it is a non-contact sport, it fairly easy to overwork yourself or overcommit and land straight on your face. I have witnessed team members overcome sprains, strains, ACL surgeries, and broken bones for this sport. It’s always great though to see them return to the sport in a better mental state as well as physical. Injuries take time to heal and it can really take a toll on one’s mental strength.
In January 2018, I was in Perth playing in the World U24 Ultimate Frisbee Championships. I had been training and prepping for months and when the tournament approached I had some shin splint troubles. While this was nothing new to me, I remember I had to take a few days off to rest before I could return to training. The tournament was a week long and when it came to the second day of the tournament I was getting major pain in my shins. This was nothing like the usual pain I was used to and when I saw physios about it they told me I had shin splints.
I strapped my shin as tight as possible for the rest of the tournament and took pain killers which helped the pain slightly. Towards the end of the tournament, it was becoming a struggle to walk and so much so that after subbing off I would have to sit down and take the weight off. I knew something wasn’t right but I had to be resilient and push through the pain for my team. The battle was harder mentally than physically because I knew I wasn’t able to put my best effort in for my team, and my country.
After returning to New Zealand I had X-Rays and my doctor told me that it was, “the biggest stress fracture he had ever seen”. I was put in a moon boot for three months and then crutches for another few months. While I may not have realised it at the time, it took a lot of resilience comeback from the injury and return to my sport knowing I had a long way to go before I was back at my expected fitness level.