BHS Insight

Injury Doesn’t Stop O’Toole

Kayla Jorgensen, Staff Writer

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Despite being injured for the past year, junior Ben O’Toole shows remarkable dedication to the Boy’s Cross Country team by attending every practice and meet even if he isn’t running. Some people are often hesitant to participate in the sport, and running in general, as it is a challenging and demanding activity that requires a strong work ethic and endurance. However, after some training, it quickly becomes rewarding, and easier.
“Running is cumulative you have to keep going in order to get better and it is a good way to give 100 percent to something,” O’Toole explained.
When he was younger, O’Toole took part in a lot of recreational sports but discovered he was better at running than anything else and began running for Barnstable in eighth grade.
“I wasn’t really good with sports that involved balls. Running was where I was good.” said O’Toole.
Running eventually became difficult for O’Toole after discovering he suffers from Compartment Syndrome; a condition that occurs when the pressure within the muscles builds up. This pressure can decrease blood flow, which prevents nourishment and oxygen from reaching nerve and muscle cells.
“Everything was going well until my calves started to hurt. Last season, I started going to physical therapy because we thought it was minor, but I was eventually sent to Boston and discovered that I have compartment syndrome,” said O’Toole.
However, when discussing these injuries, O’Toole remains positive, “In a sense, I’m glad I got injured. I’ve learned so much about improving and how important it is to keep a positive attitude”.
Ben perseveres through his injuries, which is noticed by everyone, but especially by coach Dave Faszewski, who has been coaching Ben since he joined in eighth grade.
“He has continued to rehab over the summer and slowly been returning to form. He has renewed his commitment to the team by showing up to every practice and leads his fellow teammates. Though the injury set him back, he has always maintained a positive attitude towards the team and his training,” said Faszewski.
Ben’s older brother, Nick who graduated earlier this year, was also on the cross country team. Some may think that this puts pressure on Ben to run but he insists its a healthy competition.
“We’ve always coexisted, but I do want to beat his times,” O’Toole claims.
He recently competed in his first race back at the Ocean State Invitational in Rhode Island, cracking Barnstable’s Top Ten squad.
“Ben should continue to progress through the Fall and given his dedication will soon be one of our top runners again. Ben’s teammates look up to him and his attitude. Many athletes told that they would take weeks and or months to heal would have already thrown in the towel.” said Faszewski.
O’Toole says one of the most important messages he wants to put out there is to be persistent and keep striving.
“Keep going regardless of what happens to you. Don’t give up,” said O’Toole.

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Injury Doesn’t Stop O’Toole