With a half-mile to go in the 1A Cross-Country District Finals, I was confident that I would advance to the State Finals. However, my confidence was shattered when I took one wrong step and broke my left leg.
I am now in a cast and require the use of crutches to get around. I took my ability to run for granted before breaking my leg, but now, even walking has become difficult. It takes me significantly more time to walk to and from my classes, and I can basically only do so when the hallways are clear of other students. During the five-minute transition periods between classes, the hallways are like a war zone to navigate through, so I wait until the students disperse; I am late for almost all of my classes.
Hobbling to first period each morning takes more time than any other class. No matter how early I drive to school, I never get to class before the bell rings. The distance between the parking lot and the classroom, along with the challenge of dodging cars on crutches, keeps me from arriving on time.
My problems do not stop at my mobility (or lack thereof). I cannot carry my backpack because it causes me to lose balance on my crutches.
Despite the burdens that my broken leg imposes, I have found ways to make high school a little easier.
After telling my teachers about my injury, they permitted me to come to class a few minutes late to avoid the crowded hallways. The additional time has allowed me to get to class at my own pace and arrive there safely.
I have also asked my friends to help carry my backpack to and from my classes for me. They all have agreed to help, even if it has caused them to arrive late to their own classes. Often, they offer to carry my backpack without me having to ask them.
“I have a rough outline of Wyatt’s class schedule, so I pop by and ask if I can carry his stuff to wherever he needs it,” senior Hayden Garlic said.
Although I cannot run on a broken leg, I asked my track and field coach, Coach Sabean, to help me create a training regimen to prepare me for the season while ensuring I recover appropriately. I have been going to the gym every other day to strengthen my upper body, lower body, and core. I also plan to start pool running over winter break.
“Between doctor’s appointments and getting opinions from doctors on how much Wyatt can do moving forward, I expect that he will be coming to practice and doing whatever he can to strengthen every part of his body without hurting himself,” Sabean said. “It’s about keeping him as physically healthy as possible and making sure he is ready to come back stronger and better.”