Many people think that football promotes bullies or popular, pretty boys that get all the chicks. By playing football, I found that it’s a game that teaches life lessons. Through football, I learned how to show dedication, hard work, accountability, and encouragement.
Pee wee football was supposed to be my ticket into playing football with kids my age, but the league had a weight limit. I was a BIG KID. I was the kind of kid who got his kicks from eating two dinners. The problem with that was Pee Wee football had a weight limit that I never seemed to be able to make. Luckily when I reached high school, the weight limit disappeared. My freshman season not only changed my outlook on football, but it changed my outlook on life.
I walked into the weight room as instructed by the coach and I’ve never been so nervous in my life. As I walked in, a wave of humidity hit me along with the odor of leather and paint mix. The air conditioner was broken and the paint was still wet on the walls from the night before. The music was blaring while other players began to walk in. I felt out of place; I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
Work outs were intense and I was out of shape. Every day in the weight room and on the field was another reason for me to quit. After every lift or practice, I thought about how hard the next one would be. I was filled with doubt.
During max outs, I was having trouble benching 185. Just when I was about to give up, the team began to chant, “Come on Rich. You can do it Rich.” Those simple words of encouragement not only helped me get the weight up, but it helped find a whole new game plan for my life. That day lit a fire within me. That fire was determination. I began to run in my neighborhood and eat better. This was the turning point in where I was led by my determination, dedication, and by hard work.
Looking back, it’s funny how ten weeks of a season can change your life. Football has taught me that it’s not about being “Mr. Popular,” or being the best athlete. It’s about believing in a person and telling them they can do it. I’ve learned that success comes from how hard and how long someone is willing to work and dedicate one’s self to it. Football has showed me that being accountable in life is also important because it has a big role in leading. Football has taught me that living a successful life is living it with dedication, hard work, accountability, and encouragement.
This I Believe.
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