JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — During his senior year at Terry Parker High School Aaron Bell was at the top of his game. The track star made winning state titles on the track look effortless and he had all the top universities recruiting him. Eventually, he chose to take his talents to the University of Houston. There he would be coached by USA Olympic great Carl Lewis.
Fresh off winning the 100 and 200 meter dash, Bell was ready to showcase his skills on the collegiate level. However, his much anticipated freshman season was derailed by a foot injury. It was an injury that did not just impact him physically but mentally as well.
“I didn't have a purpose anymore, and was thinking what's the point of sitting here trying to run again? Sometimes I beat myself up too much about it. I blamed myself for it," says Bell.
The foot injury forced Bell to have to sit and watch. He says he struggled because track was always his way to get away from the world. It was like therapy. Bell says he knew he had to be patient because returning to the track depended on it. He says it was a hard time for him because he also had a lot he wanted to prove.
“My biggest thing is I always like to outwork anybody. I'm never going to back down from a challenge. If you're better than me you're going to have to prove it. Day in and day out I'm going to go out there and give it my all," Bell says.
Bell’s return to the track required his all.
“That first workout back was horrible," he says. "I threw up everything I ate because I had been sitting down for like four or five months. Once I did that I realized this is what's happening and there is no need to turn back. As time went by I got better at training and everything started to fall in line."
Bell says his foot injury proved to be a blessing in disguise, adding that during some his lowest moments, it was his mom, his high school track coach and his closest friends who would lift his spirits. Bell was redshirted his freshman year and he’s now 100 percent.