Overcoming Adversity

January 12, 2012
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There are many obstacles that people have to overcome in life to be successful. Knee surgery and therapy were two obstacles I faced last year, but I have recently learned that it is how you overcome that obstacle, or adversity that counts.

I have always heard my coaches talking about adversity and how you overcome it, but I never really paid much attention to it until I tore a ligament in my knee playing football last year. It was the second quarter of a hard fought brutal game, the score was 18 to 6 and we were driving fixing to score. Then all of a sudden, I pulled around to block a linebacker, and at the last second he dove down straight at my right knee! As soon as his Riddell helmet hit my knee cap, I felt and heard a loud pop as my knee hyper extended! It was the worst pain I have ever had, and I knew that I was out for good. I tried walking on it, but every time I did my knee would buckle, and it felt as if there was nothing holding my knee together! The next morning my mom woke me up saying that we were going to the doctor because it closes at ten. So she pretty much carried me to the car, and we drove to Longview. While we were at the doctor something really gross happened! The doctor grabbed me around my calf and pushed it in, and there was no resistance at all! He told me he could have keep going and made an L with my knee! Therefore we immediately set a date for surgery. I wanted to get it over with as soon as possible. They gave me some bad news though; they told me that I was going to be out for at least six months! That means no basketball or even baseball! I sat the sidelines the rest of the year while teammates worked hard to try to advance in the playoffs. It was hard sitting on the sidelines knowing that I could have been playing if I had just been wearing knee braces! So I decided to create goals to increase my performance for next year. One was to lift in the weight room every day I could. As soon as I could start doing little exercises with my knee I was doing them. It started off as just holding my knee straight out in front of me for thirty seconds, and that hurt! After just fifteen seconds my leg was shaking, so you can imagine how hard it was. In my head though I knew I had to do it so if I was going to play baseball that year. Another one of my goals was to make better grades, and I did that for the most part except for Spanish! So I wrote those goals down and put them in my locker so I could see them every day. This motivated me big time because it was extremely hard to sit out five football games, but a whole season of baseball would absolutely kill me!

I walked into the hot room of the Carthage physical therapy center, and as soon as I did I thought to myself I am going to die! So I followed the doctor to the dark room, and they asked me to stand on my hurt leg and see if I could hold it for thirty seconds, and I did. So he took it up a notch he made me wear leg weights with it and yet again I did it. Finally after many other tests I was done for the day, and for some reason he asked my mom if he could talk to her. So I waited, and after a minute she came out and she looked at me and was smiling from ear to ear. The doctor told her he has never seen someone come in the first day, six weeks after surgery, and not feel a lick of pain at all. He said that I wouldn’t be in therapy long at all! This made me so excited, maybe I might actually fulfill my goal after all. I knew I couldn’t get the big head though I knew I needed to work as hard as I possibly could during my hour at Carthage physical therapy 3 days a week. Although I did pass the first test with ease, I am not going to lie, physical therapy was one of the hardest challenges I have faced. There were some days where I wondered to myself why am I doing this, and then I remembered all my baseball teammates, and how I would let them down if I didn’t play. So it wasn’t just me being anxious to get released, it was also my teammates also. Finally the day came; April second I had got the happiest news in a long time, I was finally released to play sports! Even though I had to sit out a couple games, it was nothing compared to what my predicted recovery time was. I ended up getting released in four months! I was so thankful that I was finally released. I am not an emotional guy, but I actually cried when I heard the words come out of the doctor’s mouth. So my mom and I darted off to practice on a nice Wednesday afternoon and for the first time in a long time I couldn’t wait to run! I ended up getting first team all district pitcher and hit a couple of home runs, but we missed the playoffs by one game. I was just glad to play one of the games I love.

I have learned numerous life lessons from this incident, but one that stood out for me was that through hard work and dedication anything is possible as long as you’re willing to work for it. When all that works pays off that is the feeling of a lifetime.





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