Road to recovery

Dedication is the name of the game in most sports, but sometimes athletes can overwork themselves, leading to injury. Carly Norris '21 shares her story about how multiple stress fractures affected her as a soccer player.

Carly Norris ‘21 has spent over a decade dedicated to only one sport. Ever since her mom, Cecelia Norris, signed her up for recreational soccer 11 years ago, Norris has been in love with the sport. Her love for soccer is a result of the team atmosphere the sport entails. 

I like the dynamic because we always hype each other up and encourage each other, but we can also criticize each other when we need a reality check”

— Carly Norris

“I like the dynamic because we always hype each other up and encourage each other, but we can also criticize each other when we need a reality check,” said Norris. 

Norris’ friend of 12 years and teammate Makayla Slade ‘21 describes her as a positive teammate on the field. 

“She’s so encouraging and excited for the team. She makes practice fun,” said Slade. 

While many preach that dedication is of the utmost importance, sometimes athletes overwork themselves to the point of injury. Norris suffered from this pattern during West soccer season in 2019.  

“I overworked myself trying to improve my skills and got five stress fractures in my legs and one of the fractures was all the way through the bone,” Norris said.

Stress fractures are common in athletes who run and end up overusing their bones through repetitive activity; however, athletes do not normally get five stress fractures. Norris was in a lot of pain during the West soccer season, so she went to the doctor after the season ended and was told she may have a stress fracture. One week later, she got an MRI taken and from that, the doctors gleaned that she would not be able to run for 16 weeks. 

Norris said that the injury taught her not to overwork herself, it was a very tolling experience for her as an athlete.

“It was really hard because I wasn’t allowed to walk, so I got really out of shape,” said Norris. 

After the 16 weeks were up, Norris worked to get back into shape for her season at West and club soccer at Iowa Soccer Club. She said she started trying to exercise again about a month ago and it was very difficult at first. 

“I would get winded after jogging for one minute and I wanted to give up a lot. But I started jogging about a month ago and I’m in good shape, but I’m not where I was when I stopped playing,” said Norris. 

Slade says that although Norris could not work out for the duration of her recovery, once she got cleared, she worked hard to get back into shape for soccer. 

It took her a little bit to get back into the rhythm of everything, but after she did she worked really hard at it”

— Makayla Slade

“It took her a little bit to get back into the rhythm of everything, but after she did she worked really hard at it,” said Slade. 

According to Norris, getting back into club soccer has been difficult. 

“My first practice back was hard because I was really far behind everyone else on my skills,” said Norris. 

While it has been difficult, Norris is back to playing club soccer. She got back into shape with the help of physical therapy and by jogging on her own. Her motivation to work out after her injury was to get back to the sport she had been a part of for 11 years. 

“I just want to get back to playing the game I love so much, I want that adrenaline rush,” said Norris. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email