What a Pain!

student injures and the effects.


sent in by Elan Pittman

Elan Pittman (12) and Lance Hesselgesser (11) , both athletes that suffered injuries while on the field

Remi Beaurivage, Design Editor

In the middle of a big game, a crack can be heard by Pittman, with the adrenaline pumping through his veins and the cheers of an insatiable crowd, he pushes through a sharp pain emanating from his finger. Little did he know that crack caused lasting problems. Student injuries are commonplace when involved in multiple sports and activities.  Elan Pittman and Lance Hesselgesser, two football players with similar injuries, faced these problems head on in different ways. 

Pittman, a current senior at LSE, has been on the football team since freshman year. While being on the football team may seem like a full-time job, Pittman finds time in his busy schedule to work at Freddy’s two or more days a week. On top of his work commitments, he also must maintain good grades to continue to play. He has a drive to succeed and in order to succeed, must stay on top of all his commitments. Pittman’s love for football however, has been present way before high school. In fact, he first became interested in the sport around 3rd grade. Playing for fun with friends helped Pittman realize his drive and love for the sport.

“I gave it a try and just really fell in love with the sport after that.”

Pittman, like everyone, who have aspirations, have people we look up to, to inspire us to reach as far as they did. Aaron Donald, similarly like Khalil Mack were put out of games due to their injuries for weeks. Although they were both severely injured, they overcame and continue to overcome struggles and still push themselves to improve physically and emotionally.

“ They’re really strong on and off field, physically and you know mentally… (referring to Khalil Mac and Aaron Donald -two footballers Pittman looks up to-) they withhold this strength throughout their career, and they’ve been playing for, you know, seven plus years and they’re still able to maintain their greatness, I just want to have their drive.”

With all of this determination and passion, there is a physical toll on athletes that Pittman is all too aware of. Pittman believes that as he’s gotten older, his risk-taking behavior has died down. He now has a more cautious approach. Being cautious however, doesn’t prevent injury from occurring. 

“They always say go 100% in practice, but killing your teammates isn’t always the best option, so refraining from going 110% is good,” Pittman said.  Although going 110% might not be best for opposing teammates, trying to push yourself to 100% during practice 

Pittman tore his MCL and was out for about 2-3 weeks, during junior year (ask elan for sure)  this along with other injuries needing time to heal took a toll on his emotional/mental health.

Pittman fractured a finger, getting it caught in a helmet. “It was probably about six, seven months like I couldn’t really pop my finger and I still have bad problems with popping my fingers and it would not budge.” Pittman said he couldn’t even feel that he had fractured his finger until the next day. “I woke up the next day and my whole hand was purple.”

Pittman has also had to endure chronic pain after he healed from his injuries. Specifically from his plethora of knee injuries. 

“My knees still hurt so often. At times, my knees ache, and it feels like a hollow tree, it feels like I can feel the creaking, it just bothers my knees so much, but it’s not like daily, it just pops up so often.”

In addition to missing opportunities due to his injuries, Pittman said  COVID-19 put a damper on his playing time.

“With COVID-19, I had to self-quarantine, so I missed out on the Southwest game. That’s probably one of the biggest games, especially with being a senior, it’s not the best.”Lance Hesselgesser, a current junior, also tries to balance school, work and personal life on top of athletics. Hesselgesser works at Dick’s Sporting Goods. 

“I put school in front of all of that though, I mean if I need to take a day off, I take a day off to focus on school.”

Hesselgesser’s injuries have been mostly on his lower half. He’s injured his heel, and knee multiple times. He also tore and broke a ligament in his finger recently. His most painful injury occurred three different times.

“It was definitely the most painful injury, (talking about his knee) so it happened like three different times, where it just popped and popped. Recently, when it popped and I had to pop it back in place, it like tears and it’s very painful.”

Having a higher pain tolerance while being in a more aggressive sport has positives. Both Pittman and Hesselgesser confirmed they had a higher pain tolerance. Hesselgesser and Pittman both continued to play although they suffered pretty severe injuries. 

“I played through a broken finger, torn ligament… I feel like I have a higher pain tolerance just because I have the want and I have that desire to play, I want to push myself to the limits without causing anything worse. I push myself and I want to become someone better for this.” Said Hesselgesser.

Hesselgesser has had to miss out on games. Having to sit back and not being a part of the fun upsets him and messes with him emotionally. He also worries about missing recruiting opportunities while out. 

“It was just so sad knowing how good it could’ve been, this being my junior year, when people usually are recruited or scouting for recruits, so I worry about not being where I could’ve been if not injured.” 

Although Hesselgesser worries about missing out on opportunities, keeping a positive mindset contributes to a more positive outcome. Hesselgesser tries to overcome these thoughts by hoping for a fast recovery and coming back stronger however. 

Hesselgesser uses these positive affirmations to prevent thoughts from going sour or a more pessimistic mindset: “You’re going to get better, you’re going to be strong as long as you think you will be. You’re gonna be strong as long as you know you’re gonna get better.” 

Hesselgesser’s view on self confidence and pushing through doubt is nothing short of admirable. As simply as it’s put, if you have a bad mindset, you won’t be able to overcome what you want to accomplish. You have to believe you can do it if you want to be successful in all facets.

“I’m never going to be the same, I’m not going to get to go to college for this, then that’s when you know you’re not going to get anywhere.”

While Hesselgesser tries to remain positive, he is still nervous for upcoming necessary surgery. “They’re drilling into my knee and shin, and it’s gonna be like a nine month recovery.”

When being involved in sports, injuries are almost unavoidable, but thankfully, both Hesselgesser and Pittman are still able to persevere and fight through the pain to continue to grow. Having a positive outlook or seeing the silver lining can seem to make a big difference in life and the things people can accomplish.