Madisynrose Marks swims a 100-meter butterfly race. Courtesy photo.

Editor’s note: This article is from “The Voice,” the Observer’s student-produced news section.

In the midst of her swim season, 17-year-old Madisynrose Marks suffered an injury that halted the remainder of her season and would become not only a physical challenge, but also a mental challenge.

In an instant, her goal would slowly fade away as she would no longer be able to swim, which meant her limited years as a high school swimmer were cut even shorter. She suffers from a condition known as hypermobility, which causes her joints to be loose.

This condition would be the cause for her shoulder becoming dislocated.

“When I dislocated my shoulder, the only thing on my mind was the next time I would be able to get in the water,” Marks said.
Every athlete has inspiration for their involvement in a specific sport.

“My main inspiration to do good in swimming came from the ultimate goal to make state; that was my No. 1 goal,” said Marks.
Her interest in swimming peaked when the thought of being a swimmer at state became an attainable goal.

She was a strong asset to the Rio Rancho swim team, as she swam butterfly for three years on varsity. Marks said, “The best part about swimming and overall being a swimmer was the competition.”

The competition pushed Marks to work harder for her goal and forced her to exceed the expectations. Unfortunately, that aspect of swimming would pass away as she would spend the next year recovering from a dislocated shoulder.

One of the most common misconceptions when it comes to athletic injuries is that the injury is only a physical struggle. In reality, an injury for athletes creates a mental burden along with a physical burden.

Prior to entering high school, we are told that our high school years will be “the best years of our lives.” High school athletics is glorified, but there is not enough knowledge being disclosed about the mental impact sports-related injuries have.

Studies show that injuries in athletes are closely related to depression, tension, anger and low self-esteem.

Athletes who suffer from an injury are eager to get back into their sport without the proper strength training. This eagerness can cause many athletes to worsen their injury, and in some unfortunate cases, they can never compete again.

Marks understood that her injury would require hard work and strength training to recover.

Although she was aware of the time it would take to recover, it was not an easy process for her. Marks is a prime example of an injury affecting mental health.

“I got very angry and sad because I knew I was no longer able to compete,” said Marks.

She caught herself being short-fused and very angry, which is not in her nature. Not only was she angry because of her situation, she was also falling into this depth of sadness.

She had to idly stand by and watch her teammates swim and compete, knowing she would not have that opportunity for a long time.

The road to recovery was not an easy one, but she made the best of her circumstances. She got involved in other extracurricular activities and clubs at Rio Rancho High School.

Marks found a way to channel that energy and anger into something else that she enjoyed. She is an inspiration to athletes everywhere to not let an injury define you.