Wednesday February 6, 2013Lauren Rose: On Comeback from Injury
By Eden Otero, UF Communications
Junior Lauren Rose’s first two years at the University of Florida have been a whirlwind, to say the least.
When Rose started the 2011 season just days after arriving at UF, she not only had to quickly acclimate to the team, but also to life as a college student. After setting foot in her first Florida classroom on Jan. 5, she also experienced her first collegiate meet as part of the Gator team just days later on Jan. 7.
She did settle in to both new environments, posting her collegiate floor exercise best of 9.80 versus Auburn in a February home meet. She also found success in the classroom, earning a 4.0 GPA in her first semester at Florida.
Rose also made appearances in Florida’s floor lineup again in 2012, but was unable to join the team on its trip to the NCAA Championships as she tore her right Achilles tendon in the team’s final practice before heading to the nationals in Duluth, Ga.
Even with the injury Rose kept focused on her schoolwork. After tearing her tendon, she went to her final chemistry lab later that same day, where she was given the task to collect materials for the experiment that she and her lab group were assigned.
“I really wanted to go because I would have had to make it up and that would have been hard to schedule around my surgery,” said Rose. “Plus it was the last lab.”
The group tasks were reshuffled that day after the professor found Rose holding a bottle of hydrochloric acid while maneuvering herself around with her left leg while the right leg was resting on a wheelchair. It was probably a good decision for the safety of Rose and others in the lab.
Rose stayed in Gainesville for the first part of the summer taking classes and rehabbing her right leg. She did have someone to join her for rehab, as Mackenzie Caquatto was recovering from post-season ankle surgery. Rose would spend about two hours a day at rehab, but the real issue was crutching to her classes.
“The first day I was on crutches, I had to crutch from Little Hall to the O’Dome,” said Rose “I had to stop at least three times, I was so hot.”
She also experienced problems with transportation. Usually Rose would be able to drive to practice or classes, but when she was put in a cast and on crutches she began to rely on others to pick her up and take her to school and rehab. Fellow teammate Kytra Hunter would also help her by taking her home from classes some days.
After 11 weeks in a cast Rose was given the ok to drive, but her family made one stipulation: Mom got to test her driving abilities before getting back on the road.
“The minute I got my boot off I started driving,” said Rose. “My Mom told me ‘the first time you drive I have to be in the car with you to make sure you’re ok. She was actually really happy with the results.”
While fighting to get back into the gym, Rose has focused her studies towards pre-med and plans to attend medical school to become a surgeon. She says her recent injuries are what interested her in the profession. After experiencing surgeries and the rehab she has found an interest in the human anatomy.
Rose’s parents are also doctors and growing up, Rose always thought of the medical profession as an option. But what she has gone through from the Achilles tendon injury solidified her career choice.
While Rose is working hard to get back to competing, she is excited for that day that she can again perform for the O’Connell Center crowd.