From Broken Bones to Recovery Road
Nick Phillips’s Recovery
by Hunter Dickerson
Junior Nick Phillips is a swimmer who broke his collarbone shortly before the swim season began. He jumped off of a building and attempted to roll as he landed, but did it incorrectly. It was a very big setback for his swimming.
When he was looking back upon his decision, it was not with pride. “Wow, that decision was probably one of the stupider ones I have made,” Phillips said.
If asked, swimmers will always say that swimming is one of the hardest sports out there. It is both physically and mentally taxing, pushing the swimmers to their absolute limits. Most swimmers are very exhausted and weak after a practice, and yet they still enjoy the sport and the challenge it offers them.
Nick has been swimming for three years, since his eighth grade year. He is a record-holding breaststroke swimmer at Mooresville High School. “This will be year four,” Phillips said.
A broken bone can have a very large effect on a person’s athletic career. Some people make them seem like they aren’t a big deal or treat them like they aren’t, but broken bones can push back an athlete’s training quite a bit and cause them to get out of shape. Breaking bones is a very huge deal in athletics.
He was very worried when it happened. “I was like ‘this sucks.’ This is gonna wreck my swimming season. It was kind of weird; I’ve never broken a bone before,” Phillips said.
His worry was understandable, but in the long run, he did not need to worry about his return at all. He came back with a burning energy to win and get back to his once prestigious level of talent.
Nick had to sit out many practices and meets. It was a very boring experience and hard for him to focus on homework while he was so close to people doing something that he highly enjoyed. Nick always tried to make it to practices, even though he had to sit out and watch his friends.
Nick Phillips took six weeks to recover and heal from his injury, and when he came back, it was much better than anyone expected. He had to put in time and effort and overall hard work in order to get back in shape and keep up with his teammates.
“Oh yeah, he did really well for missing the entire season pretty much, for starting after Christmas,” senior Dylan Rogier said.
Nick heard the chime of the start at his first meet back, and leaped off of the starting block, shooting into the water. There was a whoosh as Nick and the other swimmers hit the water and immediately began the rigorous 100 yard breaststroke, all the kicking, pulling, and pain he had to go through at practice was finally being put to the test.
Nick swam as hard as he could, giving it his everything. Finally, after what seems like an eternity in the water, he finished his race, getting a speedy time of one minute and 15.68 seconds. Being so far in the season and missing so much, this was very good.
“I did a lot better than I thought I would, I thought I would lose everything and get a 1:30, but I really surprised myself,” Phillips said.
The injury slowed him down a great deal, and it was hard work to get back into the swing of things. Despite this, he still managed to not only get by, but do extremely well.
Once he was back in the pool, “At first, it was all about getting back into the routine,” Phillips said modestly, as if getting back into the routine during the middle of the season was not a big deal.
While he was sitting out, he really wanted to swim. It is very hard to watch people get to do something you really enjoy while you are unable to due to an injury or sickness.
Nick is very proud of how hard he worked and his recovery. He has even exceeded his own expectations, as well as those of his teammates.
“Heck yeah, I am. Half a season and I am down to one minute and 13 seconds on the breast stroke,” Phillips said.
While compared to his record-breaking time of one minute and six seconds, a minute and 13 seconds might not seem like much, but it is still an extraordinarily good time. After coming back from an injury halfway into the season, it is an incredible feat.
Nick Phillips has a very good work ethic. Throughout the swim season, he was constantly pushing himself harder than anyone else, and the effort could be seen. Thanks to his hard work and strong ethic, he retained his position from last year as the best breaststroke swimmer on the team.
Nick is a very good role model and team leader, setting examples for the team to follow. He demonstrates respect and encouragement both inside the pool as well as out. His teammates respect him a lot for what he endured and how he pushed himself through it.
“I am very proud. He came back and ended the season with a bang,” senior Kylan Williamson said.
By the end of the swim season, the injury had retained no effect on Nick. His hard work could be seen at practice as well as at his swim meets. He was constantly improving and always put in his best effort, and the people in the stands would be none the wiser as to his injury. At the preliminary round of sectionals, Nick got one minute and eight seconds on his 100 yard breaststroke, only two seconds below his school record.