Back stronger from setbacks


Alissa Stehle, Staff Writer

Overcoming an injury is always one of the toughest things to do, but it can be done. Good thing for senior Lucas Byrd, his drive to get back on track overcame the will to give up.

“I accepted my injury, and I ignored the doubters,” Byrd said. “I couldn’t let the worst get to me.”

His junior year, he was medically examined and the doctors told him that he had a torn labrum, arthritis and a torn rotator cuff. Arthritis causes painful inflammation and stiffness in the joints, and a labrum is a piece of fibrocartilage attached to the rim of the shoulder socket that helps keep the ball of the joint in place. Those three injuries required surgery within the next few weeks.

“I noticed something was wrong when my bench press max started decreasing and lifting any weight became unbearable,” Byrd Said. “I felt like my maxes were dropping, because I wasn’t working hard enough.”

After he had surgery, and two weeks after his MRI, the doctors told him that he would not be able to play football his senior year, but he would be released in time to compete in powerlifting. Since Byrd went to state in powerlifting in the spring of 2017, this was the best news he could have received.

“When the doctors told me I had a chance to be back for powerlifting this year, it gave me hope that I could be successful this year,” Byrd said. “I felt like I could get something good out of a bad situation.”

Though the road to recovery was not easy, he never gave up. He went through five months of consecutive rehab and had to start off by lifting the 45-pound bar. Then he slowly increased the weight he was able to lift, without pushing himself too hard at once.

“When I started lifting the bar, I knew I just had to work my way up and had to keep up with it,” Byrd said. “It was bitter sweet, because I knew things could only go up from there, but I had to start from the rock bottom”

There will always be doubters when a person is recovering from an injury and has gone through surgery. The once possible goal seems impossible to many. Luckily none of the doubters got to Byrd’s head.

“A lot of people doubted me, and they told me I wasn’t going to be back at state,” Byrd said. “Even though I didn’t let the doubters get to me, I didn’t expect to come back as strong as I did.”

Last year, Byrd’s personal record was 1,300 pounds total. This year he has improved tremendously to a total of 1,440 pounds. His current personal records are: 570 pounds on squat, 310 pounds on bench, and 560 pounds on deadlift. He has gotten first at every meet he has fully competed in this year, and he is currently ranked in the top five in the state of Texas.

“I’m not worried about past weeks,” Byrd said. “I’m worried about what’s ahead and I’m just trying to better myself.”