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Road to Recovery: Day 1

The start to any journey is never easy, unless you have the right motivation. I have been around athletes since I was born, as my brother Jake left to play Jr. B hockey in Canada when I was only 4 years old. Athletes are a special breed, but athletes like Ish are something else entirely. The drive, motivation, and physical power that someone like Ish has are what turns amateurs into professionals. The following images are from the first day that I was able to capture his post-ACL surgery rehab. To find more about this story, click here.

 
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I met up with Ish in the early afternoon for a quick rehab and stretch session. At this point in his recovery his knee was significantly swollen with swelling on his hamstring. If there was pain, he hid it well, rarely showing any signs of exertion or physical discomfort.

 
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“A week out of surgery? Most people wouldn’t even be out of bed by now, but I have to get better.”

 

It was insane watching someone a week after surgery pushing themselves to their max. Seeing Ish use the foam roller longer than I would even when I’m healthy was simply mind boggling. The drive and determination was apparent, and you really can’t teach this kind of work ethic.

 
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In order to regain strength, Ish has to work on his hamstring, calf, and quads to help support the knee as it heals. By tying a resistance band to a post, he is able to drag his leg backwards and fully activate his hamstring muscles.

 
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After finishing his workout, Ish grabs his brace and straps back up to help support the knee. While the brace does provide a significant amount of stabilization, it does hinder the flexibility of his leg causing minor discomfort.

 
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Finishing up the day, Ish arrives back home to ice his leg and do homework. Being a club athlete is difficult enough on its own, forcing students to pursue the sports they love with little to no help from the University. Being an injured club athlete is a whole other monster. Ish is in-charge of his own rehabilitation, and teachers won’t excuse a delay in work because of a club injury. The dedication and commitment shown by Ish portray a student-athlete in a class of his own and really display what it takes to bring your game to the next level.