With the official start of summer quickly approaching, it’s the best time for many of us to get out and enjoy this beautiful region of ours. I’ve been all over the United States, and there really isn’t a place quite like the Pacific Northwest, in my opinion.
Going out and enjoying what this area has to offer is the main reason for this week’s column because these past two months have taught me to truly appreciate what we have.
As I gently go in and out of these early prep football spring/summer camps, I’ve noticed one common theme overshadowing much of the events unfolding: health.
It’s a common theme but also the great denominator in the sporting world. A healthy body or team can do a great many more things than one on the mend.
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“We’re looking strong and had good workouts in the weight room all offseason,” Puyallup High football coach Gary Jeffers said. “That should help us stay healthy.”
“We just want to keep them healthy out here, and have them fired up for the season,” Emerald Ridge co-coach Troy Halfaday said.
These are common statements made by most coaches in pretty much every sport, especially when the weather jumps into the high 80s or beyond.
It’s just common knowledge.
Yet, as I went through this year, going from one practice or game to another — one season to the next — I kept hearing this theme play over and over: “We just need to stay healthy.”
It’s funny how I heard this statement more in the last month than any other time since I’ve been at The Herald. I heard it both on the job and away from the recorder. I guess you could say it’s been a personal quest of mine these last five years.
“I really enjoyed my chance to play last year. I had fun, especially after missing a year after tearing my ACL,” said Griffen Stacy, former Rogers High and future Fort Lewis College quarterback. “I was glad to be able to come back.”
Stacy is an athlete who got a second chance to continue to play the sport he loves. Not many get that chance. That’s why those who do tend to appreciate what they have in front of them.
“When I was hurt, many of the guys helped pick me up and encouraged me,” Stacy said.
For Stacy to now be able to play football at the collegiate level after suffering his injury is a wonderful thing. To be able to go about his daily life without limitations is even better.
I can attest to that after five years of dealing with one knee, foot or ankle injury after the other, often leaving me benched because I would have added further damage to my injuries.
My stubbornness and lack of bodily care was probably reason No. 1 for the length of those injuries. Hiking with a sprained ankle — sounds like a great idea (do not recommend).
I guess when you get healthy and back to doing the things you love with full vigor, you tend to see things more eye-to-eye with these athletes. It’s the little things that make someone grow.
As summer comes, enjoy the weather but stay hydrated. We want to keep you healthy.