In the past seventeen months, I had two life-changing setbacks. I tore the ACL in my left knee in November of 2015 during basketball practice. This long and painful process of surgery and rehab takes anywhere from six to twelve months. My therapist Jeremy Smith at Athletico Elgin helped push me outside my comfort zone. Every day I would leave therapy stronger physically and mentally. After working extremely hard and pushing myself to come out of therapy the strongest possible, my doctor and Jeremy agreed to have me cleared at the earliest time possible, which was six months after surgery. I was beyond blessed to be cleared and begin to play the sports I love again after returning from a huge injury. Not only was I happy, but my coaches and teammates were also overjoyed for me as well.
I began practicing with both defense and contact. My coaches could see how physically ready I was by my attitude and because of how much I wanted to stay and work on everything I could not do for six months. They could also see how mentally confident I was in my knee, and how much I trusted it. After all of my dedication to one of the sports I love, I heard a pop and felt a sharp pain in my knee while landing from a tuck jump. This made my heart sink. After all of the hard work I had put into rehab, I knew it had gone to waste. This was only three short weeks after I had gotten cleared. I could feel the swollen and unattached ACL. I ultimately knew I had re-torn my ACL. After going to the doctor and hearing him say, “It is not looking good. I believe you have re-torn your ACL,” I was devastated. This re-tear was a ten percent chance possibility, which I had done.
In my mind I thought nothing was going to help me get over this second time injury, until I talked with my coach and therapist. My coach opened my eyes to see that if I could make it through one surgery, the second should be a piece of cake. My therapist promised to get me back on the court as soon as possible, and to have me finish my senior year playing. This led me to know that I could overcome this setback once again. I just got cleared March 27th after being in therapy for a year total, and seventeen months of watching the sports I love instead of playing them. I have been putting in extra time, and truly focusing on fixing my knee to come back stronger than ever this time around. I have my family, therapist, doctor, teammates, coaches and friends looking out for me always. One of my teammates even came up to me and said, “Kendall, you are such an inspiration to me.” This blew my mind and was heartwarming to hear those words. Not only am I coming back stronger physically and mentally, but I am also coming back with a new outlook on life. I could not have been successful without the help of Athletico.