From the day I was born I have had challenges to face in my life. I was born with a punctured left lung and was admitted into the neonatal intensive care unit so the Doctors could treat me. While this wasn’t my challenge, I was at the heart of it with my life depending on the doctors overcoming their challenges in caring for me. Because of this and other challenges that I have faced, as well as those I have seen others face, I believe in challenge. Or to be more specific, overcoming the challenges we are presented with.
Thankfully, the doctors that were working to save me in the first days of my life succeeded. Since then I have gone on with my life and its challenges, and doing what I can to overcome them.
Two years ago on a ski trip with my youth group, I tore my ACL completely in half. At first it didn’t seem too bad, nothing showed up on the X-rays, and after I had my MRI, I was beginning to walk without crutches again. Then the results of the MRI came in. I remember when the physician came in to the examination room. He looked at me and said, “Well, it seems like you’re walking pretty well now…” At this point I was feeling good, because I didn’t think anything was wrong, and after a start like that, what could be? But then he continued, “… but that doesn’t change that you’ve completely torn your ACL.”
I was understandably devastated at this. I wouldn’t be able to play contact sports for a whole year after having the reconstructive surgery. He explained the MRI sheets to my mother and I and told us about my options for surgery. I would be able to have it the next month or after the summer. I had a hiking trip to Philmont Scout Ranch that summer, and if I had the surgery earlier I might not be ready to go. I still decided to have the surgery and get it over with.
I had the surgery, and when we got home that night I was already trying to walk around without crutches. With the help of physical therapy and my attitude, or so I like to think, I was able to go on the hiking trip and complete it with little difficulty. I had to sit out that year during rugby, and then football the following school year, which was really saddening for me, but I managed by running during practices. Then my twelve-month period was up, and I was able to play rugby again!
Thanks to the running that I did during football I was in good shape, and I was able to start for our rugby team. I was also able to play football my senior year. I didn’t start like I had hoped, but one of my coaches told me that he had respect for me because of how after my injury I came back and still played rather than sitting out.
I would probably have to thank my parents for my attitude on challenges, but wherever it came from I’m glad I got it. Life is a lot more fun if you look at challenges as something to beat, even when you don’t think you really can.