As far back as I can remember my family has always been supportive of whatever it is I chose to do with my time. From baseball, football, and hockey to a high school rock band, they were there: mom, dad and my brothers when they were not engaged in their own activities. In addition to my immediate family, my mother’s parents usually made appearances more often than not.
Here’s the thing about them though, my grandparents were like a news crew, which isn’t a bad thing in this instance. During several baseball games, my grandma and grandpa would come into the dugout when my team was batting and interview me as if I was playing professionally.
I believe that I have had more life changing experiences because of them, and often alongside them. Being their first grandchild, I may have received more opportunities than my brothers will. I’ve been to eleven European countries before I could drive, and when I got my driver’s license, Grandpa John gave me one of his old trucks to drive with the promise that I would go on a road trip.
I confronted Grandpa John three years ago at his house on my brother Daniel’s birthday. I told him that I wanted to be where he was at his point in life. I asked him what motivated him throughout his life, and how he achieved what he did. His answer was this, “First of all, I am extremely jealous of you and what you have done, sports and music are something I never excelled at naturally, you have a gift. I am where I am because I knew what I wanted and what I could do and worked hard to get it.” He paused and leaned forward in his chair, pointed at me and said loudly, “YOU can outwork anybody”
You would have to have been there to truly know what it was like for me. The feeling I got after he said this to me was so profound, I acknowledged his response and walked out of the room without saying anything else.
After what Grandpa John said to me that day, my faith in myself grew exponentially. The word thankful cannot encapsulate what it is I feel. I am not certain that I will achieve my potential while Grandpa John is still alive, but until then, I will work to accomplish my goals without compromise. I believe that I will do something in my life worth recognition, and when that day comes, I will attribute it all to a great motivator.
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