Life as an Athlete
Upon graduating high school, I had narrowed down my options to two schools, attend a very well respected school (Carnegie Mellon University), or go to the University of Pittsburgh to become a dentist. Regardless of the option I chose, I knew I would play football. I decided to attend the University of Pittsburgh and walk-on the football team. Everyone thought I was crazy walking on to a D1 school. I’ve been known to be stubborn, so I did it anyways. During camp prior to the season, I tore my ACL and medial meniscus cartilage. A week later, I had full-knee surgery to repair the damage; two months later, I had another surgery as I was having difficulties with the rehab of my knee.
This was the first pivotal point in my life, I was faced with the difficult decision of whether I should quit football and focus on school. I had all the justification to do so (2 knee surgeries), but part of me didn’t want to quit. Strangely, I was even more compelled to accomplish my goal. In the end, I accomplished my goal. I earned a full-athletic scholarship and was a three-year letterman (receiver and punt returner). By the time I had graduated, I had broken my collar bone, separated my shoulder (resulting in surgery), and broke almost every finger. As you can imagine, I took quite a few pain killers.
At the time, I didn’t become addicted, but I knew and liked how they made me feel.