The 2018 season was tough for Max McDonald. He took a leave of absence and didn't play in the last eight games of the season.

Max was suffering from something that most people hide and don't talk about, anxiety.

“It’s not something that’s easy to go admit that you’re struggling as a person. It’s not like I rolled my ankle and ‘hey, I know how to rehab this and go get better,’ ” McDonald said. “It’s ‘I have to go figure out and find something that I don’t know how to do and to admit that I’m hurting and I need help.’

Max went on to tell The Coloradoan that leading up to the 2018 game between CSU and Florida he had a bunch of anxiety attacks. It got so bad that he began skipping classes.

When he decided to step away from the field, that's when he tackled his biggest opponent yet, his mental health.

Max used every resource he could find. He began to get out in nature, read more, writing his thoughts in a journal, and even found a meditation app. The haze of anxiety began to recede and Max rejoined the team in late 2018. However, he wasn't on the field. He was taking his recovery step by step and slowly gaining his strength back.

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Now, a season later Max is likely to start the  2019 season on August 30th. His friends, family, and coaches are excited.

“I’m so excited about him and where he’s at. I feel like he’s having a good time,” Coach Bobo said. “I feel like he’s in a better place and has a better perspective on life and what he’s trying to do, and I think it’s freed him up to play better football.”

Congratulations Max, you're courage and drive is inspiring and contagious.