FRUITPORT CHARTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Not everyone who performs athletically on the field is comfortable in the spotlight. A young woman in Fruitport relied on something that put her front and center when she a setback took her off course.
Brooke Sweet has been singing since she was four years old, when she performed a solo at church for her younger sister’s baptism. It’s impossible to tell how shy she is from seeing her behind the microphone, but Sweet, a senior at Fruitport High School now, does not like talking in front of people. Still, singing makes her feel powerful.
Music became an even more important outlet for Sweet in the last year because of what happened with her other passion: running. She started to realize her speed in the fifth grade.
“I was usually faster than the boys in gym class, and then in sixth grade, I was one of the faster ones too,” Sweet said.
But after years of running track and field and cross country, an injury — and a mystery — sidelined her. She had a stress fracture in her left cuboid bone and doctors didn’t understand how it happened. She had just healed from another injury in the same area.
“They figured out, after a while, that two of my bones weren’t connecting. So I had to have surgery in one foot,” Sweet said.
The operation kept Sweet off her feet for most of the season last year, which was a challenge not only physically, but also mentally.
“All I’ve done is run, like, my whole life, so it was hard for me to push that aside and focus on different things,” she said.
She spent that time volunteering and singing at church, where it all started. After months of physical therapy and using music as therapy, Sweet is back on the team and focused on her future.
“Before my injury, my goal was to go to (Michigan) State, but now I’m just looking to run in college and become better and better,” she said.
Sweet will need to have surgery on the other foot, which has the same bone issue, and plans to go to Muskegon Community College next year.