The Long Road To Recovery

By Jeremy McDonald

STAYTON, Ore.—  When Regis Senior Tyler Voltin squatted an heavy 515 pounds Monday, it felt like he never had navicular bone stress fracture in his left foot.  Feeling like he was back to his old ways again preparing for whatever is to come his way during his Senior season.

“It felt amazing, no pain in the foot and I truly felt like I was back to where I was before the entire injury happened,” said Voltin.  “Kind of like I was picking up from where I left off.”

It was the day after Christmas, the Rams basketball team was sitting 4-4 on the season and were gearing up for their January 2 game against Vernonia when the injury happened.

Listed as six-foot-five and 310 pounds on the 2019 Regis football roster, the nimble Voltin rolled his left ankle on a teammates foot.  Initially thought it was ankle sprain, the then-Junior continued to play on it until one day he couldn’t.

“I thought it was just an ankle sprain but it developed into a stress fracture that I would continue to play on for the next two weeks until I couldn’t physically at anymore,” said Voltin.  “It honestly was the worst, having to stay in a shirt and tie and watch from the sidelines.”

Voltin took sometime to heal up, it killed the post player not to play, but he knew he needed to be there for his team.

Voltin squatting 515 pounds Monday (Video provided by Tyler Voltin)

“I felt in the position I was, as one of the leaders, I took the role of that older influence on the younger guys and although I think last season could’ve had a far better outcome, I feel like a lot of the young guys stepped up for sure, and that’ll lead into this basketball season,” said Voltin.

For those who aren’t familiar with foot anatomy, the navicular bone is a little bone in your foot.  Think similar to the little bones in your wrist that may hurt when your carpal-tunnel flares up.  The navicular sits towards your shinbone, right in front of the bones the makes up your heel and connects to the tibia (your shinbone).

Voltin describes the healing process for it as disastrous.  He would rest, then he went out to play in on Senior night against Lowell because it felt good.  Re-injured.  Boot for a month.

Came out of the boot, thought he was on the road to recovery.  Month and a half later, re-injured again and back into the boot.

Fast forward another month, out of the boot.  A carbon fiber insole was used, mixed with a bone stimulator for bone recovery for a month and he was on his way finally to recovery with Physical Therapy.  Getting back to some sense of normalcy.

“I admit there was a lot of obstacles, because two months in a boot did not do good on my nerves, joints and ligaments,” said Voltin.  “But PT helped me get back into the swing of things and today is my last day of PT actually and I will officially be back 100%.”

Voltin (34, fourth from left) reading the play against Santiam December 11, 2019 (Picture by Jeremy McDonald)

For Voltin, Thursday was a long-time coming.  You can’t really put into words what it’s like to get past this giant obstacle said Voltin.  He was challenged across the board.  Mentally, physically, etc.

But it did help him in another way.  It taught him how to persevere through adversity.

“If something is thrown at me I’m going attack it from all sides and try to get by,” Voltin said.  “One thing I do know is that it helped me appreciate something as simple as being healthy and not taking for granted any sports I play.”

Voltin was already a vocal leader for the Rams.  But it taught him how to expand that zone beyond just in-between the lines and to take it to the sidelines and into the locker room.

Injuries can make people appreciate things around them more.  For Voltin, it did just that.  He felt like there’s times where he careless, but this injury had centered him and brought him back to even across the board.

“I feel like at times i got careless with taking advantage of the sport and so I kind of feel like this injury was meant to be, to show me to value not just sports but everything in life to be honest,” Voltin starts.  “Every time I go to an event whether it’s as small as practice, or as big as an actual game, I just feel amazing with the fact that I can even be there! I hope in terms of the younger guys at our school and maybe other schools as well, they see the way I handled the injury and learn from it if they ever go through the same thing.”

Voltin has felt luck to be in this position.  His goal has always been a leader for the younger guys, he’s been lucky to be put in this spot.  Regardless if it was divine intervention or not to do that, Voltin had taken a step back to understand the position that he has.

“It’s very important in my opinion, at least for Regis, the goal has always been to be a leader for the younger guys. The position that I’ve been lucky enough to be put in, I want to make the best of that, not just for myself,” said Voltin.  “You won’t get anywhere in life if everything you do is for your own good. I’ve kind of ran with that message and just kind of want to leave a lasting legacy on Regis in some way. That school means everything to me.

“No matter, if its injury, playing time, et cetera, I just want people all over to realize that they can persevere through whatever it is.”

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