Wrestling has been the foundation of my life for the last 12 years. The past two years however, have been full of frustration, disappointment, and anger. In a previous article, I wrote about how sacrificing the first half of my collegiate wrestling career by undergoing shoulder surgery in early August, has forced me to become tougher mentally. As of right now, I am four months into the rehab and everything was going according to plan. At least until now, that is.
During my Thanksgiving break, my parents and I agreed that I should get an MRI on my other shoulder just to make sure it was safe. That following Monday, I got a call from the surgeon with the results. Sadly, it wasn't the result I was hoping for. He told me that I had a Bankart tear in my labrum and that we needed to meet to discuss treatment options. The following week, my family and I sat in his office and made a decision,
After looking over the MRI and listening to my surgeon's opinion, I decided that I would be undergoing a second surgery. This has been such an incredibly frustrating time for me. I never thought I'd ever have to sit out of competition for a year, never-mind two. This surgery will push my recovery time all the back until June, instead of March or April. It seems to leave me with this question: Where to I go from here?
Truth be told, I'm not really sure. I don't know what I do once I'm back to 100%. I love wrestling, I love it with every fiber of my being. But, at the same time, I hate what it has done to me. This sport has destroyed my body and destabilized my life. If I said that I wasn't scared to get back on the mat, then I'd be lying. I'd also be lying if I said I didn't want to wrestle again, because I can't imagine my life without it. I guess I just need time to think and heal. At least I'll have plenty of that in the coming months.
What do you do when your passion becomes your enemy? Do you continue to push back and hurt yourself more? Or, do you decide to step back, let it go, and move on the a new stage in your life? Maybe there's a middle ground somewhere yet to be discovered.
I guess all I can do for the time being is prepare myself for the long year that lies ahead. No matter what happens, I will always have the skills and lessons that I was taught over the past 12 years. Those can never be torn away from me.