Examples in Perseverance

Jan 4, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Ask a sports fan under 30 who Tommy John is, and the answer may likely be, “a doctor.” In fact the man linked to a groundbreaking medical procedure used by baseball players, and other athletes the world round, was an a All-Star pitcher who won nearly 300 games in a 26 year Major League career. And all that nearly came to an end due to elbow troubles, but Tommy John played through.

Injuries don’t have to be the end.

How did Tommy John do it? Medical science, sure, but also an incredible amount of drive and perseverance to continue to compete and succeed.

Injuries, with no small thanks to John, today have become a difficult speed-bump to be sure, but certainly not a career or life-defining moment. And if you want more proof, you need look no further than Minnesota sports.

Take one of the most high profile athletes in the state and entire country. In a 12 month span Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson went from a man with a shattered knee, to a man looking to shatter a record. In the end, Peterson would not get his record, but did shatter the expectations of many with the 2nd best season a running back ever had, all on a repaired ACL. The medical science paved the way, yet Peterson supplied that same type of courage showed by John and those who came before.

Injuries don’t have to be the end.

On any given weekend visit Hallenbeck Hall on the campus of St. Cloud State University. There you won’t only see some of the best basketball in the Northern Sun Conference, you’ll see supreme examples of perseverance. Jessica Benson, a 4th year sophomore on the SCSU Women’s Basketball team is leading that team in scoring, averaging double figure points a game. Two years ago Benson’s red-shirt freshman season ended with a knee injury. A year later she was back on the court, and now she is back to dominating.

Injuries don’t have to be the end.

The SCSU Men’s basketball team boasts even more proof of the above. Late in December junior big man, and St. Cloud Apollo grad, Tim Bergstraser returned to the floor with a flourish after coming back from his second knee injury in two years. Another junior on that same team, Damarius Cruz is perhaps the most shining example of perseverance. Cruz, a native of Robbinsdale, MN has had not one, two or three, but FOUR knee surgeries. Cruz easily could have hung it up after any of these incidents, but he didn’t and is now the third leading scorer on the Huskies this year.

Injuries don’t have to be the end.

How about one final example? This comes from the Central Minnesota High School ranks. One time MSC Player of the Week Mac Mueller got off to a hot start quarterbacking the Rocori Spartans this past fall. Scoring with his feet and his arm, the Spartans were looking to go back to back with State Titles. Instead, mid-season Mueller injured his shoulder. And while the injury sidelined him, it didn’t derail him. Mueller is now a starter once more as a senior on the Spartan’s basketball team after helping the football squad to a section playoff win.

Injuries don’t have to be the end.

From the professional ranks to college to high school, examples abound of athletes with unbridled passion, overcoming the adversity an injury can bring. So if you’re a young athlete, or an old one for that matter, and you are dealing with an injury, or you know someone who is, take note of these examples and know….injuries don’t have to be the end.

JW Cox

Posted By JW Cox

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