This I Believe - Isaiah Bowser

Isaiah Bowser and his mom Melissa.

November 2, 2017 - Students in Mrs. Sara Olding’s Accelerated English class participated in the “This I Believe” essay project. This is a national conversation started by journalist Edward R. Murrow in 1951. Over the next few weeks, students from the class of 2018 will share their personal philosophies about life.


Comeback Kid By Isaiah Bowser, SHS Senior


I believe in a comeback and the power of hard work. Growing up in multiple houses in Sidney, my mother had to work for every dollar to support my family. Often my sister and I would have to stay with my grandparents while my mother was working one of her two jobs or finishing her college. She taught me a lot about hard work. She gave me my work ethic.


The first real challenge to my work ethic came my freshman year of high school. We had our first two a day football practice. We had a good morning practice and headed in for lunch for about an hour. We came out for our second practice and got a stretch in and headed straight for some competitive drills. I told my quarterback my route (slant) and headed to the line to wait for his cadence. He said go and I took three hard steps forward and cut to the middle of the field where he threw the ball slightly ahead of me. I lean for it and miss. As I lean, the defender gives me sort of a shove and I take one long step and my knee hyper-extends. I first feel a sharp stinging pain starting behind my knee that spreads. I then lose all feeling in my knee. I try to stand, but can’t. Something was wrong.


I got help to get on the gator and headed for the training room where I’m told I may have just torn my ACL. My mom came to pick me up at practice and I went home to wait for tomorrow to see what’s wrong with my leg. I remember thinking that I didn’t want to lose two or three weeks of training to an injury. The next morning I woke up and went straight to the doctor hoping for good news. Good news did not happen. I was sent to a surgeon who clarified that I did indeed tear my ACL. He told me surgery would be best for me and he scheduled the day. He also told me that my football season was over. I soon learned that a full recovery would take between 6-8 months after surgery. Basketball was over too. My heart dropped. That moment I knew I had to focus. I would come back stronger.


After my surgery, I had to rest a while to prepare to start rehab a few days later. I spent six brutal months in rehab. I started with a lot of stretching and slowly I got off my crutches. I worked three days a week and slowly regained my balance, strength, and speed, and most importantly, my confidence. I knew what hard work looked like from watching my mom who encouraged me. I spent the whole year focused on returning stronger than I was before.


I came back my sophomore year stronger than ever.


I was faster and stronger from all the hard work I put in during rehab, and it showed on the field. After my sophomore season, I got my first football offer. After my junior season, I got a lot more. I ended up with fourteen Division I football offers. Now I’m committed to play football at Northwestern University, a Big Ten school with excellent academics and great football.


When I tore my ACL freshman year no one thought I could come back and have a good high school career. I think people underestimated what I was made of. That is okay because I knew how to handle that from watching my mom work when people underestimated her. Show up and do the work. That is exactly what I did. Not only did I have a good career, but finishing my senior season I have broken nine school records. My team is 9-1 and headed for the playoffs for the first time since 1989. That is a comeback.


I don’t mind hard work, I welcome it. I have learned through my life that the harder the work, the bigger the result. My mother has taught me that.


Isaiah Bowser is a senior at SHS who will be attending Northwestern University to study civil engineering and play football.

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