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Knee surgery It was my first practice for the 1994 wrestling season Even after the long football schedule I felt at home down in the wrestling room The familiar scent of stale sweat filled my nostrils as I began to practice I had been drilling for thirty minutes when POP my knee buckled I dropped to the ground writhing in pain My knee was locked and my teammates had to carry me off of the mat Later that night I had knee surgery and it appeared as if I would never wrestle again The events of that particular winter day eventually played a role in shaping me as a person It was this incident and subsequent rehabilitation that helped me develop several of my best characteristics including commitment responsibility and perseverance In my naive thinking surgery was an athletic badge of honor to be displayed on ones knees with corrugated streaks of purplish flesh Little did I realize what it takes to recover My father had orthoscopic surgery twice and both times he was walking within a day and cycling within a week I assumed my recovery time would be similar to his Never in my life have I been so wrong Due to the nature of the injury the doctor elected to stitch my cartilage back together Because of the intricacy of the operation I was restricted to non-weight bearing activities for three weeks If I wished to return to wrestling the doctor stated that I would have to demonstrate a muscle strength in my injured knee equal to ninety percent of my good one When informed of this requirement I could barely bend my leg twenty degrees nor use it to lift a ten-pound weight One week after surgery and with the aid of crutches I nervously entered the rehabilitation clinic The physical therapist gingerly measured my quadricep and noted that I had lost an inch of muscle For the first time
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