First, I’ll start out with letting you know I am feeling pretty good and have not had any major health issues recently. I had my annual scan a couple months ago, and everything was stable with the cyst (I have an arachnoid cyst where the tumor was removed). You learn with tumors and brain issues, no change and stability is a good thing even is something is still there.
September 20th, I turned 21 and had a great sushi dinner with Mom, Dad and Hayden. Didn’t do anything too crazy for my 21st since a lot of places are still limited and a lot of my friends are away at college and haven’t got back for break.
With the Covid pandemic, there have been some major changes in my plans and what my Sophomore year was supposed to be. My second semester at St Norbert College was cut short, and we all were sent home early to finish up the semester online. Toward the end of the semester, my mom and I headed back to WI and packed up my room in anticipation of my return in August for my sophomore year. Well that didn’t happen.
As we got closer to August and when we were to report for Football, everything changed. Our season was cancelled by the NCAA due to Covid concerns, and in August, the college didn’t know if we were going to have an in-person year or online classes.
As the weeks went on, I was offered the option to defer a semester or two since everything was up in the air. Part of this is because at St Norbert, you only get financial aid for 4 years and with the NCAA, 5 years of eligibility to play football. The school didn’t want either affected.
I took the option to defer so I could do kind of a reset and decide what was best for me and my family. I also didn’t want to take the chance of going to St Norbert College 2000+ miles from home and chance getting stuck there, or start the year in person and end up taking classes online in WI.
Since I’ve been home I enrolled in Saddleback College and am still taking classes. I’ve changed my major from Physics and Computer Science to Communications. I really struggled with some of the classes and as I got into the math and physics classes, figured out that really is not my passion. Communications is more in line with what I plan to do and pursue career wise as an advocate for Pediatric Cancer Survivors and work with Charities and Cancer Advocacy Groups .
I haven’t made any final decisions on what’s next for me, and am waiting for the pandemic to play itself out a bit. My passion still lies with playing college football and I am very lucky to have some great friends – Gunnar, Matthew – who allow me to work out with them and we encourage each other to stay in shape. Their season was cancelled too so we are all in the same boat – work hard for your next “normal” season.
On the bright side I have made tremendous gains with my lifting – my bench is now 340lbs my squat 415lbs and my deadlift 490lbs.
It’s a lot of hard work and dedication and those of you who follow me know I am not afraid of hard work. I have also been putting a ton of time on the field working on my footwork and agility and continue to improve my balance so I am ready for the next opportunity to be on the football field. Most of my football time I’ve been a guard, but in this off time, I have also been working on my snaps and technique so I may have an opportunity to play center.
When you’ve had a brain tumor and suffered some physical challenges like I have, it takes more than just normal exercise to stay sharp and make progress. So I’ve continued to work with Monahan Monahan Physical Therapy a couple times a week and focus on my balance, coordination and fine motor skills.
I also am boxing 2-3 times a week with Gary Ballard as well. In combination with my PT, I think that boxing really has help me make the biggest gains in my progress – and no, I don’t spar full contact, my head cost too much. I also love working with Gary and the rest of the crew at his gym. Shoot I even got to meet Mark Sanchez at one of my sessions.
Nothing has changed about my passion for Mountain biking and I am doing everything I can to get closer and closer to the level I once was. I’ve been riding at least 2-3 times a week and have a Mountain bike channel on Youtube so you can follow my rides – check it out – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXGB320VkD4ji-nCoLFkF6Q.
I also had an amazing opportunity to go to St George, Utah recently to ride with my dad and friend Barry. The riding was amazing and if you every get to go the southern Utah, you will not be disappointed. The riding is spectacular but if you want to hike, go to Zion it will blow your mind.