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The Price Paid for Passion The Price Paid for Passion

- (Huffington) - 1 years, 11 months ago...

Just over a year ago, I tore my ACL playing basketball. The moment was instantaneous. The recovery was not, but it was punctuated with milestones that transformed time from an obstacle, to a partner in my progression. So I've come to cherish the experience, which endowed me with a lot of life lessons, an increased appreciation for perspective, and what amounted to a tremendous sense of purpose and fulfillment. After a lot of hard work, I returned to basketball and I felt complete again. This reunion spoke to the permanent significance of basketball in my life: The reintegration felt surprisingly seamless, immediately routine, and nondescript in a way that was unexpected but meaningful. It was like reuniting with a person you adore -- you anticipate the reunion, but you're such kindred spirits that when it happens it melts into normalcy almost before the impact of the moment can hit. Either way, I was elated. I treated myself to new customized shoes and filled my days with as much basketball as possible. I truly can't do justice to the happiness that this re-immersion in basketball gave me; simply put, it's the unique fulfillment that comes with pursuing passion. The reunion was short-lived, though. Just over a month of playing, and -- nearly to the date of the original injury -- I came down from a rebound in a game, and in that split second felt a small pop in my knee, and a much more significant pang of fear. To my heartbreak, the MRI revealed yet another complete ACL tear, this time in my other knee. Surgery was on the horizon again; as was basketball -- a distance far more upsetting than the proximity of the operation. Hearing those words was crushing; they affirmed that something I had worked so hard to reintegrate in my life was slipping through my fingers yet again. But I knew that recovery is not assisted by tears or torment -- the opposite, in fact. It was positivity and perspective that propelled me through the months of rehab the first go around, and I knew I'd need them again. I told myself I would take one night to wallow, and then I would shift into motivation. But something interesting happened. My sadness dissipated much faster than I'd expected. Here was a challenge before me, and in that, an opportunity to learn and grow. And this opportunity has already started teaching me. I'm realizing, when challenges arise, it's crucial to resist the tempting but ultimately destructive allure of "if only," "what if," and "why me." This occurred to me as I initially felt myself sliding down that slippery path. You know how it goes: replay the moment in your head a million times, agonize over it, imagine every possible way in which it might have been avoided. All this, only to accomplish nothing but your own disheartening. This year, the time period from injury to MRI to surgery was consolidated to less than four weeks; last year, it spanned over four months. Thi...

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