What Now?

When I was a kid, I was convinced I’d be the next Wayne Gretzky, or the next Barry Bonds. I truly believed that lacing up my skates at 7 a.m. on Sundays while the whole city slept would guarantee me a spot in the NHL (National Hockey League).

As I got older, reality began to hit me and by the time I got into high school, I realized that I wouldn't be breaking any scoring records. Instead, my expectations shifted to becoming a third or fourth line player. But I kept dreaming.


Then, one summer, I tore my medial collateral ligament (MCL). I remember the day vividly; it’s become one of the few memories that I can recall with all five senses. One minute I was playing basketball, jumping to get a rebound, and the next I was on the concrete, screaming in pain while clutching my deformed left knee.

I remember the doctor telling me that I’d be unable to play sports for at least six months and would need regular physiotherapy sessions, and possibly surgery, if I ever hoped to fully heal. When he delivered the news, I thought, what now?

He put my leg in a soft cast, gave me a pair of crutches and sent me on my way. Not the answer I was looking for.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “You can do anything you set your mind to,” and I’m sure most people have heard this quote sometime during their childhood. It’s a positive message that motivates a lot of young people, but it’s also one of the many lies we tell to shield young people from the disappointing reality of office jobs. This shield either becomes a source of motivation, or it becomes a crutch in early adulthood.

The truth is there’s no mathematical equation where hard work equals guaranteed success. Sometimes, setting your mind to something doesn't always yield the desired results; sometimes, it does the opposite and forces you to confront your physical, emotional and psychological limitations. And that can be devastating for anyone who’s told that anything is possible. 

I've since realized that I'd never become a professional athlete. If my lack of talent wasn't a dead giveaway, my injury-prone body made it clear. The trick is to accept and understand your limitations. Being able to adapt and overcome situations can be as vital to success as hard work.



After spending ample time confined to a cubicle, Pierre has decided to hang up his suit and tie in order to pursue a writing career. He is a student at Algonquin College, in his final year in the Professional Writing program. Outside of class, Pierre is a passionate individual with a penchant for learning. A self-proclaimed nerd at heart, he also enjoys playing baseball and hockey, running, and over-analyzing things. On a rainy day, you can find him at his typewriter, transcribing his inner monologue.

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