The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

March 19, 2013

A long, strange trip

Brown overcomes injury to get NCAA berth

(Continued)

"It really made me more appreciative of how great it is to have the opportunity and to be blessed to be able to do what I do, and I am thankful to be healthy enough to wrestle," he said.

Couch time

After a barrage of tests, including MRIs and CAT scans, Brown was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome. He began seeing a sports psychologist, the noted Dr. Jarrod Spencer, of Easton, a former wrestler and college football player.

He said Spencer helped him break down everything that happened and once he identified the issues he had, mostly anger, he was able to reconcile and look forward to being able to train again.

"I love training almost to the point where I love (it) more than competing. I can work for hours and hours.

"I went through a whole range of emotions and feelings toward the situation," Brown said.

"I worked through the anger and the disappointment and I just wanted a shot ... to be healthy and not have those symptoms, a shot to wrestle and compete," he said.

He said that after giving the sport the biggest part of his life, by the end of last season he was beginning, not to burn out, but to begin to tire of the competition.

"Then you get it taken away and you realize how much you really love it," he added.

He said there is no data on how long post-concussion syndrome will last, so there was a lot of doubt in his mind.

Facing the worst

Then he received a jolt. A nurse told him, "You may have wrestled your last match ever."

He said, "When he told me that, then it really hit home."

Nevertheless, Brown was cleared to return to the mat in June.

"I wasn't even able to jog. I wasn't allowed to break a sweat," he said, noting that the recovery is a slow process. "You go from working out 10 times a week to not being able to do anything. It took me to a dark place."

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