Former football star says concussion was blessing in diguise

Kaitlin Lewis | Staff Writer

When Chris Allgor suffered a concussion during his sophomore year, he was told by his doctor that he should give up football. Little did he know it would be the best thing that ever happened to him. While disappointed to give up the sport he dreamed of playing in high school, he was forced to ask himself a question.   

“Do you want to do good for yourself, or do you want to make an impact?”

Having to give up football affected almost every area of his life: friends, high school plans, college, future careers. Being a football player was what gave him his identity. That was how he felt known at Mason High School.

“I enjoyed the sport, but maybe I just enjoyed who it let me be,” said Allgor. “It gave me a sense of purpose. Everyone can categorize you on that.”

But mental health trumps any future plans Allgor had in his sport, and life came to halt when it was obvious he could not continue playing. He thought he had life figured out: to lead his team during high school, continue football through college, and let his time on the field lead him into his future career. On top of the healing process that comes with concussions, however, Allgor spent time reflecting on his goals, his priorities, and his life-time plans.

With one door closed, others opened up around him. During junior year, Allgor applied for a board member position in Students Involving and Befriending Students (SIBS). He became a coach for Nerf Madness, and helped tutor students through the Whiz Kids program. Allgor got involved in the Comet Zone and was accepted into National Honor Society (NHS).

“The biggest thing that came out of that for me was that I had to step back and reevaluate what I was putting my time into,” Allgor said.  “I kind of realized I should probably find other things to put my time into. Maybe things more meaningful.”

Allgor’s seemingly endless free time was immediately filled. Changing his mentality to helping others handed him leadership chances he never thought possible. Part of the push that led him to this change came from his involvement in faith-based groups. Forming friendships in Mason Young Life and Crossroads gave Allgor an encouragement he had not found before. Leaders in these organizations help students find who they are, and what they feel called to do.

“I can’t really tell you how this happened,” Allgor said. “This wasn’t me, it wasn’t my work, it just kind of fell into place. I am personally religious, so I believe this is just the way God set it out for me.”

Now, Algor has bigger aspirations for his life. He plans to major in operations management and nonprofit management in order to take the teamwork and leadership skills he has learned into a career field. Allgor hopes to work for a company or organization that gives back to a greater cause.

“Working and leading a group of people to accomplish a goal for something good is something that I just can not get enough of,” says Allgor. “That’s what I feel what I’m meant to do, and (it’s) why I have no problem trying to balance all these different things.”

What was the end of one dream has become the beginning of many others. When concussions forced him to give up football it was life altering. Instead of mulling over what he had lost, Allgor optimistically forged ahead, working for something more meaningful and fulfilling. He may not be leading on the football field like he had planned, but he has become a leader who is focused on more than glory on the football field.

“Something that connects with everything that I’ve gotten to do is working with a team of people to do something good. That’s something that carried over from football. I still take lessons from what I learned on the field, but in ways that (have) bigger (meaning). One thing that Mr. (Dave) Hyatt always says is ‘Do you want to be successful, or do you want to be significant?’ My answer is both. I want to be okay, but I feel like I’ve been dealt all the cards to make an impact.”