You just hung out your sports physician shingle in a small mountain town. Private patients are few and far between, so you pay the office rent by moonlighting as the local high school's on-call sports doc.
You got beaucoup kudos from the high school players and press, which helped you snag a spot on a regional university's sports staff. You're good with basketball and football injuries, although you're still on a steep learning curve with banged-up fencers and volleyball players.
Now you've wheedled yourself a spot on a top NCAA team's medical roster. Many college teams don't have an on-staff sports physician, but now you're running with the big dogs.
Onward and upward...to the NFL. Right now you're with a middle-of-the-pack team, but the hotels, meals, and perks are still amazing. You've gotten some good press for your athletic rehab work, and you've had a couple of top-secret nibbles about your services.
Now you're going to the Olympics...and not as a spectator. You've been tapped as the U.S. Men's Basketball team physician for the upcoming Games. You pinch yourself and it's not a dream. You're about to enter that rarified atmosphere that's like the Holy Grail of sports.