My Name is Nate and I live in Maine?I was playing running back in a playoff football game carrying the ball and as I planted on my left leg a defender dove and his helmet hit the inside of my left knee. I felt a pop but tried to get up and had trouble. The coaches helped me off the field. When I was told I tore my ACL and would miss basketball and possibly baseball season it was a shock to me, but I immediately said “I want to have the surgery today!” I was ready to face the challenge and the recovery. My parents made sure we got the best surgeon. My surgery date was about 6 weeks away so I began “pre-hab” workouts to get my body in shape leading up to the surgery. Ironically, I enjoyed these workouts and have continued them all along.
Once I had my surgery I was surprised at the pain but I followed the surgeon’s and physical therapists instructions every day. I began doing 3 days/week of Physical therapy for my legs and 2 days/week with my personal trainer from before the surgery on my core and upper body. I approached my rehab like a sports season. I was still involved with my basketball teammates as I attended practices and even coached a few games! While I was very disappointed to miss basketball, my focus shifted to baseball. My main motivation was to be sure I didn’t miss baseball season! I worked very hard and had a great support group with my family and my friends. When I was cleared to play baseball after 5 months, I was so excited! I ended up playing all season. My team won the league championship. I was also named to the all-star team. We had the same core group of kids on all-stars for 4 years so this was a special team to be a part of. I was fortunate to have a pretty good game in the state championship but I could not have done any of it without my teammates and coaches. Our team won the state championship and that was the best feeling in the world. We had been through so much together. To accomplish this with my teammates who were like family to me, was so special! Representing the state of Maine at the New England regional tournament and playing games on NESN was an honor and a great thrill! We came within a game of going to the little league World Series. It was an experience none of us will ever forget. It was especially meaningful for me knowing what it took to get back to playing. It made me appreciate the ride that much more! Are You The Next One? I AM.