Boot Camp

The spooky Seabury boot epidemic


Cadence Cheng

Faculty member Cris Bryan rolls down the hall with her new boot scooter. Bryan has had a boot since April 25th

Walking down the hallway, you see one person with a boot on. Then another. Then a third! What is happening? This autumn has come with a remarkable uptick in foot and ankle injuries, resulting in many medical boots around Seabury. Whether it is an unlucky coincidence or related to the current sports seasons, the Seabury boot epidemic is undeniable.
Among the injured is senior Jake Rack, who recently suffered a high ankle sprain. “I think it may have been a result of going back into cross country; just the strain on my ankle caused it,” Rack says. It was a fairly gradual injury: “One day, when I woke up, it started hurting,” says Rack, “And I thought it was just something like I slept on my ankle weirdly, but it just continued to stay. So I went to my doctor.”
Faculty member Brian Rios also injured his foot. Rios has tendonitis in his extensor tendons, which run from the ankle over the top of the foot and attach to the toes. Rios played in a 15-set sand volleyball tournament, which caused his injury. “There’s a lot of give in the sand, and I was having to hit and attack the ball instead of setting it like I usually do. That continuous motion and pushing off of my foot really irritated those extensor tendons,” he says.
Having an injury certainly affects day to day life. “I’m currently unable to go to cross country,” says Rack about the worst effect. Still, the consequences are not all bad for Rack. “It does have the benefit of having more time to work on homework and stuff like that.”
For Rios, having his boot negatively affected his life as the girls’ high school volleyball coach and the physical education teacher. “Coaching volleyball during the season and being in a boot for two weeks was really, really tough . . . It was just tough to move around,” Rios says. As to benefits, Rios maintains that there are none. “I was thinking maybe I could cut a few spots in a store, like a grocery store, but nope, nothing. People just looked at me weirdly because I was in a boot,” Rios says.
One of the strangest parts of these various injuries is their coincidental occurrence. “It’s weird that there are so many similar injuries happening at the same time,” Rack says.
Still, Rios believes the current plethora of ankle injuries may be rooted in seasonal factors. “I truly believe it goes with the sports that you play. What you see right now is a lot of foot sports, like soccer and cross country, [where] you use a lot of your lower body,” Rios says. To prevent injury, Rios recommends doing leg strengthening exercises, stretching, icing and foam rolling.
In addition to Rack and Rios, faculty members Cris Bryan and Don Meier, as well as junior Harrison Hartzler and sophomore Lizzette Borjas, have also worn boots because of their injuries. While the boot trend can be morbidly entertaining to discuss, hopefully the list of injuries does not grow. To those suffering injuries, we hope you heal soon!