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December of last year had me in a quandary. The only option that seemed viable to me was to continue wrestling, to battle through the excruciating pain that shot through my knee every time I set foot on the mat. My parents were torn; my father wanted me to continue wrestling because he understood that is what I wanted, but my mother wished to allow the doctors to operate on my knee.
Wrestling is my passion. I cringe at the thought of growing old and being unable to participate in competitive sports. For me to even consider sitting out for an entire winter from the sport that I love the most, there would have to be something extremely wrong. The doctors said that my kneecap was severely damaged, which was causing my knee to become extremely painful and swollen. Despite this, I decided to continue participating in practices in preparation of our dual meets and the state tournament as long as I was physically able to.
One day, during practice, my coach told me that he could see how much the torn up knee was affecting my wrestling. He said that ultimately it was up to me and my parents to decide whether or not to risk continuing. He explained that the team would depend on me being healthy in order to be successful in the State Dual Meet tournament. I immediately responded that if it were solely left up to me, I would make whatever sacrifices were necessary for my team. Then, Coach suggested that I take it easy during practice in order to be as fresh as possible for the dual meets. I absolutely refused to give it anything less than one hundred percent during practice. I felt that I was letting my teammates down if I did not go hard during practice.
At the end of…