Down but Not Out

September 29, 2008
By Nate Anderson, Littleton, CO

I lay lifeless on the field. The coaches talk to me; I answer with slurred words. I hear my mom crying in the background. I try to tone it out but it is too hard. The next thing I hear is the ambulance screaming down the road to the field. My mind is racing with thoughts of where am I, what happened, what’s wrong? All of a sudden everything goes black. I flash back to when I’m receiving the fourth of my hiesman trophies. I feel like I’m a lion standing on the edge of a cliff over looking the jungle below, with a proud feeling of accomplishment. I awake, now I’m in the speeding ambulance; I hear the medical crew checking numbers. I feel so stupid; I just threw everything away. The last few weeks I have been hanging out with the wrong people. Two weeks later: I now find my self in a hospital bed; I am not able to feel my legs. I start to break down and cry my football career seems to be over at this point. I fall into a deep sleep. I dreamt of when it happened. Having another great game I was being my normal hotshot self. I try to hurdle over the awaiting tackler. He comes up and hits my knees I flip to the ground. The moment I hit the ground I feel unbelievable pain. I awake with pain in my body.
The doctor walks into the room; he says with the right amount of rest I will play again. He says the time of rest will have to be one year. I frown, knowing that I’m not going to be drafted at all. Waiting with patience; I start to feel anxious. I don’t rush into doing anything so I go to the doctor. He says that my knees are healthy and ready to play. That day the head coach of the Denver Broncos calls me and asks me to practice with the team. I go hard every play pushing for extra yards. Hopefully I will make the team by putting in the extra effort. In one year I make the team, and I am the back-up running back. By the next year I have become the Denver Broncos starting running back. In my first NFL game ever I am very nervous. I walk onto the field, all of a sudden I feel almost paralyzed by my emotions. I can’t believe how far I have come. This is the start of a wonderful career to come.

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