Chapter 4. Pain


"What do I do now?" Martin shouted in frustration.

"Now we wait and see how bad it is and how quick it heals," said Gus, the head athletic trainer, as he walked back into the training room.

"Sorry for yelling," Martin said as he tried to contain his anger. "I didn't think anyone was in here."

"It's okay. As you can tell from my hair and the wrinkles on my face, I've been an athletic trainer in this league a long time and I've seen my share of injuries, and they are never fun and always frustrating," he said with a thick New York accent.

"I just have to get back on that field. This is all I've got," he said as he punched the table he was sitting on.

"I know," answered Gus. "I know."

He did know. He had seen thousands of players come through training camp. Some came from the finest football programs in the country; others literally came from jobs bagging groceries and building houses. They came from farms in the Midwest, the streets of California, the bright lights of Texas, and the suburbs of Florida. Some came with fame and fortune; others were so broke they had to sleep in their cars. Yet all of them came with their eyes wide open and a dream to play in the NFL. For some guys the dream came true. They made the team with only a dime to their name and in a few years they were household names, celebrity endorsers and multimillionaires. Others were not as fortunate. They came ...

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