Sept. 11, 2002
CHEYENNE, Wyo. -
Kit Bradshaw II is the starting running back for the University ofWyoming football team, and like most football players, he always has a fewbumps and bruises.
But the summer before the 2001 season, Bradshaw's dream of playing collegefootball and even leading a normal life, was put on hold.
On June 3, Bradshaw and teammate Tom Vincent were driving north onInterstate 25 heading back to Laramie for summer conditioning. While enroute, a car headed south crossed over and hit the car Bradshaw and Vincentwere driving head-on.
Neither Bradshaw or Vincent suffered any life-threatening injuries, butBradshaw injured his back. And as the 2001 season began, he still hadlingering effects of the injury.
Maybe Bradshaw's injury wasn't life-threatening, but it certainly waslife-altering and painful.
"The car hit more on my side," Bradshaw said. "I ended up with a bulgingdisc, a herniated disc and then my sacroiliac joint got jammed all the wayup into my hip."
The sacroiliac joint, also called the S.I. joint, is near the tailbone.
Bradshaw said doctors didn't detect that injury right away, and he playedhis redshirt freshman season in a lot of pain.
"I had three (shots) to relieve the pain and swelling because of that,"Bradshaw said.
Bradshaw still was UW's third-leading rusher last season with 127 yards andtwo touchdowns.
Following the 2001 season, Bradshaw was still in a lot of pain, and wonderedhow much more he could take.
"Over the last two years, I wasn't sure if I would be able to come out thefirst part of the season, redshirt or even play again," Bradshaw said.
"After the pain I went through playing, I didn't know if I wanted to gothrough it again."
This summer was when doctors finally found the S.I. joint problem. Treatmentfor that helped, but Bradshaw still wasn't sure if he would be ready to playin UW's season-opener Aug. 31 against fourth-ranked Tennessee.
"You name it and I've done it," said Bradshaw on some of the treatments hetried. "I tried acupuncture. I even tried yoga from one of my mom's friends.I went to chiropractors, doctors, everything."
Along with the many treatments, some prayer and Bradshaw's determination, hedid start against Tennessee. He didn't have the game he wanted with only sixyards on six carries in UW's 47-7 loss. Bradshaw also started in UW's secondgame at Central Michigan last Saturday and gained 20 yards on seven carries.
"I feel good, but there are some things I'll never be able to do again likesquats," Bradshaw said. "I'll always have that constant tightness there, butI feel pretty good."
Bradshaw said he didn't expect to be the starter at this point in theseason. In fact, he said he just wanted to get as many carries as he could.But now Bradshaw's very much a part of the UW running game, and he couldn'tbe happier.
"I know this almost got taken away from me just like that," Bradshaw said.
"I've got to approach every game and every play as my last, an appreciatewhat I have."