What being healthy means to a young athlete.

Growing up, I always didn’t think much of my health.  I was a pretty healthy kid, nothing that would ever need to be looked into heavily.  Although when you are growing up with just your mum and you don’t have any brother and sisters, life can be pretty hard.  My mum when I was a kid would freak out over every cough and every sneeze no matter what time of day or season.  She would always be telling me to wash my hands, blow my nose, and put a bandage with neosporin on to keep from infection.  Neosporin was probably the most used household item I remember growing up with.  I was a pretty active kid and loved being outdoors, so whenever I would come in from a hard days play and she saw a cut or scrap, I knew what time it was.  

So when I became highly active in soccer, you can guess what type of attitude she took with me.  I heard it all from, “you’ll break a bone, you’ll have to be on crutches, you could have to get surgery”, or my favorite, “don’t go for a head ball, you could get a concussion and die!”  As I got older though, I didn’t change much.  I was aware of good and bad decisions for your health and I knew how to eat healthy and keep my body in good shape but my mum she acted like I was going to war unprepared.  I noticed that some parents were protective and cautious about their child’s health and wellbeing but not like mine.  Plus what was ironic about all of this, was that my mum worked for a hospital and was well aware of how medicine and physical care worked.  She was extremely educated and almost over qualified and professional for her job.  Though she seemed to lose all of that when it came to health and care with me.

Before I took this class I felt that my “normal” understanding of health was the same among my teammates.  If you’re not coughing and hacking and nothing is broke, you’re fine and ready to go.  Even when I played in high school and college, and something did break or sprain, I felt educated on how to handle this and get back to a healthy standpoint.  My “normal” outlook on my health was that whatever the doctor told me for a recovery period, I cut in half.  If he said, “oh it’s just a minor sprain, give it 4 weeks recovery.”  I ended up cutting that time in half and pushing my body to its fullest to become 100 percent recovered and ready to go.

Compared to most people’s outlook on what “normal” health is, I fell that I have a very odd and bizarre sense of “normal”.  Every day I push my body to its absolute fullest and even if my recovery period hasn’t healed my injury, I play through it.  In today’s society, athletes are considered almost Gods.  They are praised and worshiped for their great talents and abilities they show.  Athletes in today’s society have almost a complete 180 degree different style of “normal” health, than compared to a 9-5 office worker, 5 days a week.

By: Matthew Wurzelbacher


One thought on “What being healthy means to a young athlete.

  1. I like how you mentioned the fact that you always cut the time of recovery in half. This was something that my Dad always told me to do and although the doctor/physician wouldn’t agree with it, sometimes it was what had to be done.


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