When Your Teen Athlete Breaks Her Toe

Our youngest kid is tough. She rarely shows much emotion when she’s been hurt, physically or emotionally. She has been that way since she was a little girl. It’s just the way she’s wired. That’s not to say that she doesn’t feel things. She is in touch with her emotions, for sure. She just doesn’t wallow in them. She allows the feelings in, then quickly deals with them. She sees things in a hyper-logical way. No need to dwell on concerns for that girl. Address the parts that can be addressed and move on.

She is an athlete who understands that injuries happen. She once played an entire volleyball tournament with a taped ankle after she rolled it in the first set of the day, simply icing it between games. This girl knows how to suck it up- sometimes more than she should.

Summer Weights are part of the high school program for athletes in our district. Each morning throughout the summer, the athletes head to school for conditioning and weight training to keep their bodies in shape during the off-season. She loves this routine- the camaraderie, the workouts, the outcomes from the training. This kid is up and ready to head out every morning with no complaints. Angelina knows that she has to put in the work to grow in her sports.img_6592

When she came to the car after Wednesday’s workout carrying an ice bag, I was concerned. I figured that she pulled a muscle, perhaps. Nope- another athlete accidentally dropped a 45-pound weight on her big toe! YIKES! In true Angelina form, she didn’t cry. She apparently jumped around the gym yelling OUCH for a few moments. She tried to downplay the pain as she explained to me what happened, although it was evident on her face.

The kid who typically gets in the car after weights and wants to head straight to Chik-fil-A or Smoothie King wanted to go home to the couch. As a matter of fact, she didn’t even want to eat anything until much later in the day. She said that she wasn’t hungry. I think that the pain was so severe that she couldn’t even think about anything else, such as eating. She didn’t even change out of her sweaty clothes. The girl went straight to the couch and propped up that foot with an ice bag on the toe.img_6593

It was already swollen and turning purple by the time I saw it. We had a doctor examine the toe. Fortunately, it will heal on its own with the help of rest, elevation, and ice as well as pain relievers. No weights for the rest of the week, of course.

My tough girl has been a pretty good patient. I know that her toe hurts worse than she is divulging. I know that she is sucking it up, as usual. My husband and I have reminded her over and over that it is okay to admit the pain and frustration for the accident. I bet she hopes to be fully healed by the time volleyball tryouts roll around in a couple of weeks. I’m sure she was upset about just missing the weights program for a couple of days! She prides herself on having a great work ethic. Taking time off- even for an injury- is not something she ever wants to do.

While I don’t want her to believe that she needs to hide her feelings, I am impressed with her ability to process what happens to her directly and move forward. All of us are wired differently and this kid has always been able to do this. It’s just her! And, I think she’s pretty cool!

Now- to refill that icebag…img_6591

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