This time last year, I was squatting 315. Now I'm happy that I was able to move 185 today relatively easy and speedy. After I competed last in May, I knew my body needed a break. I did 5 powerlifting meets in 2015, dialed it back to one in 2016, and I don't know if I'll be physically healthy enough to compete this year. A lot of people have asked what happened to my knee and the honest answer is that I don't really know. The last time I back squatted heavy was in July, and that was the beginning of the end. There was one hike in particular that really pissed it off and it hasn't been the same since. The non stop excruciating knee pain began then and has since ebbed and flowed and I can't correlate it to anything in particular. Some days certain things agitate it and other days those same things feel fine. My MRI results showed deterioration in the cartilage between my knee cap and femur (something common for someone who has played sports their entire life), so when I'm active, I feel that glorious bone on bone feeling. I opted to not have surgery and went with PT and a few injections. I don't know what will happen with my athletic career, but I try not to get bummed out on it. I don't need to be on a platform to be happy at this point in my life because I have soooo many other endeavors, hobbies, and interests that help me stay mentally sound. I do love powerlifting, but I promised myself to listen to my body and not risk my physical health anymore at the expense of being the world's OKist lifter. My knee felt fine the last few times I've squatted, so if I stay on this path, I'll definitely get back to lifting like I used to. Until then, all I can do is keep on keeping on and maybe find some obscure sport to compete in that doesn't involve knees.