By November 9, 2012 2 Comments Read More →

The Lowry Lowdown: The Truth About Injuries

Sergio Aguero of Manchester City (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

The question is not if you will get an injury as a professional athlete but rather when and just how severe will it be?

The average professional soccer player puts in tens of thousands of hours playing soccer in the streets and parks, on youth teams and as a professional. It takes years of time and dedication to reach a level of relative mastery with the ball at your feet. But those years of dedication and practice come with risks. Even though I put in thousands of hours of work the single most difficult thing I encountered on the journey to becoming a professional were the things I couldn’t control, the injuries.

Last season I tore my left MCL and right quadriceps; first the MCL and then the quad upon recovering from the knee injury. I spent the better part of the season in physical rehabilitation working through the injuries and trying to get back to help my team. Pro sports are a ‘what have you done for me lately,’ results-driven business and when you are injured you are – at best – an afterthought. A majority of soccer players would likely agree that the most difficult part of playing is the helpless feeling of standing on a sideline watching your team and being incapable of affecting the outcome of the match. At the pro level I can assure you this feeling is even worse.

Every pro soccer player begins the journey naively thinking they will become Ryan Giggs, a guy that is still playing at the highest level after 20 years in professional soccer. In truth, these players are few and far between. Every professional quickly finds out that it’s an unglamorous daily grind. From breakfast to warm-ups to cool downs, stretching, icing, food, rest and recovery are all the monotonous details everyone lives with and no one talks about.

And all it takes is a broken leg, a knee injury or a major concussion to derail a career.  In fact, some of the best players I’ve ever played with weren’t ever able to play professionally or had their blossoming careers cut short due to injuries. Ultimately, we are all at the mercy of our body and the way we take care of that body, feed it, stretch it, rest it and push it are small factors in shaping when our body will bend and when it will break. And sometimes you have no control over what happens.

During my years on the soccer field I have seen horrendous injuries that caused careers to end and lives to change. Even as a 27 year old man, I can’t go for a run without my knees aching. But many have it much worse, like former DC United player Brian Namoff, who had to retire and spend months sitting in a dark room due to severe concussion symptoms.

On my journey to becoming a professional and as a player in MLS I suffered many injuries. Torn muscles and ligaments, internal injuries, minor concussions, and broken bones were all a part of that journey. Sadly, those injuries chipped away at my body and have me playing at a level that likely won’t see me reach the goals I set out to accomplish. But I gave it a shot. Those were the risks that came with the pursuit of my passion.

That is the difficult part for me. I couldn’t control what happened to my body. I pushed it to the limit. I treated it well and still it wouldn’t let me get to where I wanted. You only get one body, you have to treat it well but even when you do, there are still no guarantees that it will be enough.

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2 Comments on "The Lowry Lowdown: The Truth About Injuries"

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  1. Adi Adi says:

    So right! Stretching, sleep and diet are the things athletes must pay close attention to avoid injuries. Could not agree more, thanks Peter!!!

  2. PeterLowry PeterLowry says:

    Worst feeling in the world is watching your team lose while you are sitting out injured, knowing you could help if you were only healthy.

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