University of Chicago
Injury, Adversity, Thriving Certainly
The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
I’ve heard about this unmistakable sensation at the time of injury, but never suspected it would ever make its way into my life; significant injury was a disease isolated to the ranks of professional athletes. Or so I thought.
Friday, September 9th, 2016. 5:07 p.m. That snapshot of time is forever embedded in my memory. The first week of practice during my inaugural varsity football season was almost over. As I took the snap and ran up the left side of the field, I planted my left foot in the damp autumn grass. “Pop”. The hyperextension of my knee left me with a fully ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). This experience proved pivotal in rewriting my unwritten future.
Injury is not just a process of recovery, but equally a process of discovery; the 12 months of rehabilitation and recovery left plenty of time for discovery. The 10 hours of exercise during the week were replaced with time spent being held captive by inevitable mood swings, and asking myself, “What if?”. Simple activities such as walking and showering became dreaded daily struggles. I realized then and there, as I sat trying to bend my knee beyond 35 degrees while downing 8 pills, that the value of overlooked simplicities are never more palpable than...
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