Not Giving Up

Noah Behrmann

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They can be quite cruel.


Always unexpected.

And without warning.

They can take away everything you’ve worked for in an instant.

And it can be devastating.

I’ve had my fair share of injuries as a soccer player. I’ll now be out for a third season in a row due to tearing my ACL twice and a few other injuries along the way.

To say I’ve been through a lot would be an understatement.

But they’ve taught me some valuable lessons and helped shape me into the person I am today.

The most important lesson I’ve learned is that my life is not my own. I can’t put my trust in myself because it can be taken away in a second.

Injuries have a way of making you feel like everything is falling apart; like your entire world is crashing down around you.

But I’ve learned that the storm won’t last forever, and I’ll be able to cope with those things and grind through them.

And no matter what happens, I know I’ll be a better man and player from it.

That’s the most important part.

Embracing change

It’s funny how life works.

My parents almost 'forced' me to play soccer. 

I didn’t want to do it at first. 

I look back on that now and realize how different my life would be if my parents hadn’t pushed me when I was just a four-year-old.

Without soccer, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be a student-athlete here at Clemson.

I wouldn’t have had the chance to win a national championship.

And I wouldn’t have been able to share my story with others to hopefully inspire them to never give up.

Sometimes, change is good.

It’s hard to see it in the moment, but looking back, I can see how each change in my life led me to where I am today.

I wouldn’t be the player or person I am now if it weren’t for those changes.

And for that, I’m grateful.

Being a part of something bigger than myself and having the opportunity to play for a university with such a storied history and tradition was a dream come true.

But I also knew that hard work was necessary to accomplish my goals.

Nothing would be handed to me.

Injuries were part of the game, but I never expected them to be as severe as what I was about to experience. 

Little did I know that college would bring me the biggest challenge of my life.

The one that hurt the most

My first year at Clemson was filled with excitement and optimism.

I was finally living out my dream of playing for the Tigers, and I couldn’t have been happier.

But in a split second, everything changed.

It was like one injury after another, and I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to get back on the field again.

In my first year, I broke my fifth metatarsal in my left foot. I was sidelined for three months, but I was able to play again in November.

Just when I thought I was back to my old self, I broke my fibula during a 1v1 drill.

I was out for the entire spring season.

I was in shock when I first heard about it. 

I cried. 

I was devastated.

I just wanted to play so badly and show what I could do. I was playing pretty well when it happened, so it was tough to be sidelined once again.

I found peace in rehabbing and trying to come back for the fall.

In the fall, I was playing well, and I finally got my chance during a game against Furman. I played really well and had a nice assist.

I thought things were finally turning around for me, but the very next day, I tore my ACL.

And that was the hardest one for me to overcome.

I was out for the entire season during the national championship run.

I was devastated once again. I couldn’t help but wonder why all of this was happening to me.

After a long fall and spring season full of rehab, I once again returned to the field.

I felt good, but the nightmare wasn’t over yet.

During my first day back, I tore my ACL again.

At this point, I felt like I was going crazy. 

I had been out for a year and a half, and I just couldn’t catch a break.

But I learned to find peace and comfort in my family, my girlfriend, my brother, my teammates, and God.

I relied on them to help me get through the toughest time of my life, and they were there for me every step of the way.

If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know where I’d be.

Before this ACL injury, I sometimes pushed people away. 

I was just a different person, struggling on my own to some degree, you know?!

But this time around, I knew that in order to get through this, I needed support.

And the people closest to me were providing just that. 

It’s definitely something I learned throughout this process.

You can’t battle all of those challenges by yourself. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for a help. In fact, it’s important.

Injuries will always be a part of the game, but I learned to appreciate the game in a whole new way.

I learned to be present and not take anything for granted.

I learned to embrace the adversity and use it as fuel to push me forward.

And most importantly, I learned that my story was far from over.

It was only just beginning.