By Ethan Ellis--Eagle Staff Writer
In sports, one of the hardest achievements for many isn’t winning the league championship or setting a new personal record, it’s recovering from an injury. No matter how severe, injuries can do lasting damage that can severely affect a player’s ability to compete if not treated right.
This was a journey that senior Roman Ciulla recently had to undertake.
“I had two major injuries during my time running,” says Ciulla.
Ciulla had to recover from both a left knee injury caused by overuse and a stress fracture, which sidelined him for about two months each time. These injuries were undoubtedly disappointing to him as he had practiced a lot to prepare for the season.
“Before I had injured myself both times, I had gotten pretty [good] in terms of endurance. After being injured, I lost that endurance and had to gain it back again. This was a long and tedious process of many (doctor's and physical therapy) appointments,” he recalls.
But regaining that endurance takes a long time. Trying to do too much to an injury like the ones he sustained could mean reinjury, each time more serious than the last. He had to go through weeks of stretching and physical therapy to attempt to strengthen the part that was injured. But physical therapy is only half of what is needed for a full recovery.
“I’d say he kept a pretty positive attitude considering the circumstances,” recollects senior Conner Deering, Ciulla’s teammate and friend of five years.
While physical therapy helps heal the injury an athlete sustained, the mental determination to recover is a different story. Ciulla was able to overcome these struggles and, according to his coaches and teammates kept a relatively positive attitude the whole time.
“It definitely has made him more determined,” shares track coach Chris Renick.
Another factor of recovering from an injury are the actions taken after the injury to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“I’ve been a lot more cautious about stretching since my injuries,” says Ciulla.
Now a senior, Ciulla has learned to take precaution and is back on track with his running, having just finished his indoor track season and preparing for the Spring season.