Manisha’s Mind: The Glory of Injuries


The cause of envy for most small children: a pair of crutches. Sure, as a kid I wanted Legos, Tamagotchis and the newest version of Nintendogs (heck, I still play that game), but there was nothing I wanted more than a pair of crutches.

I wanted so badly to injure one of my legs so that I could experience life atop the magical creatures. But alas, this dream was never fulfilled. And although I’ve played nearly every sport that Hockaday offers, I’ve miraculously never broken a bone in my body. The only major injury that I’ve ever had was a cut cornea, which I somehow received in second grade at cello jazz camp (because where else would you cut your cornea?).

There wasn’t even a cool story that went with it. I didn’t get stabbed in the eye with someone’s bow, or get in a fight with a kid over “who was a better composer: Beethoven or Mozart?” Nope, I cut my cornea because my name tag flew into my eye. To make matters worse, I had to wear an eye patch for a week in order for it to heal. The one major injury I had was the opposite of cool. It was quite lame.

Looking back, it’s pretty embarrassing that I wanted to injure myself. But as kids, these were things that mattered to us. The glory of showing up to school with a cast or crutches was well worth the injury it came with.

In Lower School, a broken bone meant getting your friends to draw on your cast and carry your books for you. Now, it means not being able to drive your car, let alone attend your sports practice or participate in games.

For athletes in all sports (and even non-athletes), there is nothing worse than being sick or injured. Classes missed at school can take more than a week to make up, and practices missed result in a loss of fitness.

Even for athletes who don’t participate in contact sports, the risk for injury is extremely high. As a rower, I myself don’t participate in a contact sport, yet I have to be careful. After pinching a nerve in my upper back, my shoulders often go numb and I have quickly learned that my body can only handle so much.

As athletes, our coaches urge us to give our maximum effort, and most of the time we tend to forget that our bodies have limits. Of course it’s awesome to put in a large amount of effort, but sometimes, wincing through the pain during the last quarter of a game isn’t worth the damage we are doing to our bodies.

So I say to you now, as an experienced athlete, take care of yourself. Don’t take your legs (or any other limbs, for that matter) for granted.