I was just 18 years old when I moved into my first apartment in Andover, Massachusetts. I had fled there from my hometown of Averill Park, NY to play junior hockey with the goal of getting a division I scholarship. Unfortunately, 6 short games into my season, I suffered a season ending tear of my Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). What was a young kid to do? I was alone, lost, and scared of what my future would look like if I no longer had the sport of hockey. I had dreamed of playing college hockey since the age of 5, was I just expected to give up? Was it all over?
Luckily for me, I was (and still am) fortunate to have a support system unlike any other. My parents researched to find the best surgeon available for ACL repairs and let me tell you, they found him in Rutland, VT. In November of 2011, I entered the doctor’s office for my pre-surgery visit as that same scared boy I describe above. However, as my doctor laid out my rehabilitation plan step-by-step, I began to gain confidence. I left that first meeting knowing that I WOULD play hockey at a high level again (and I did).
Over the next 9 months, I spent 4 hours each day rehabilitating my knee and training my mind with techniques such as yoga and meditation. I spent the rest of the time reading about the human body, how it heals, how to feed it properly, and how the state of the mind impacts the physical state of the body. I was hooked and determined to learn more. I had formed a burning passion to help and empower others and this is where my passion for learning and practicing medicine began. Through my time as a student athlete, researcher, and soon to be medical student, I haven’t turned back. If you’re reading this post, you most likely have a similar passion, perhaps you even have a similar story. If you do, let’s connect, collaborate, and grow, because you’re not turning back either.