Daylon’s Daily: Dealing with injury

Hicks looks to excel in last meets of 2022 indoor season


Courtesy of Andy Thill

Hicks prepares to jump during an indoor track meet on Jan. 14 at the Podium in Spokane, Wash.

DAYLON HICKS, Evergreen reporter

Dealing with an injury in life is never easy. As a kid, I did not have too many injuries aside from two; a TV fell on my foot as a child, and I cut my big toe open while doing volunteer work. I proved resilient and was still able to thrive off of those injuries and continue participating in sports. However, my recent toe injury held me back during the 2022 indoor season. 

During the cold month of November, we were wrapping up conditioning sessions, making a transition to jumping and preparing for the season. On one of the last days of conditioning, I remember doing stadium runs early in the morning, around 6 a.m., feeling the dread and tiredness of staying in shape. 

As I started one of my last sets, I got sloppy and slipped a little on my way up the stadium steps, but I did not know that this would be where my pain began. After the practice, I was feeling sore with a little pain in the toe area. I was unfazed by the pain at the time because I thought it was due to the workout. 

I noticed the pain in my toe slowly starting to hurt more and more as days passed by. Doing workouts was getting harder, not because of my mentality but my physique. Seeing the trainers each day and doing my toe stretches at home was helping, but only a little. I did not feel myself getting the full health that my toe needed. 

As the season started to roll by, I took notice of my toe as I jumped in the first indoor meet of the season, the Spokane Invitational. After not getting the results I thrived for, I decided to head home for winter vacation and not do many workouts. I figured the best way to let the pain in my toe go away was not to add pressure, and focus on getting the range of motion in my toe fully back to normal. 

The urge of wanting to get better took over, and one day during winter break, I decided to practice high jump. This impacted me mentally as I struggled to get over heights that I normally clear with zero effort. I decided to rest with 10 days left of break and just relax until I was back in Pullman. 

Coming back from vacation, I felt physically fine but worried mentally. I knew that if my toe was not feeling healthy, then I would not be able to jump to my full potential. For the next three meets, I struggled due to my toe. After the New Mexico Team Open, I finally said enough and decided to see the doctor about the pain building my toe. 

My toe was swollen and getting worse due to never truly getting the chance to rest. Doing rehabilitation work and taking medicine helped strengthen my toe after being in pain for so long. 

Despite dealing with struggles in competition, I was able to learn valuable lessons from this experience. Paying attention to how the body reacts to certain pains is essential. My biggest lesson from this experience is that suffering physically can also lead to suffering mentally.