This I Believe

Dan - University Park, Pennsylvania
Entered on August 11, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I believe that nothing in life is going to be handed to you; you have to go out and get it and accomplish it yourself. Everything in life is going to be a challenge. Once you’ve realize how much you can take, you don’t feel alive unless you’re pushing yourself as far as you can go.

I started playing football when I was four years old. All my life I always watched my older brothers play football and excel in each age class and level growing up. I knew when I was young I wanted to play forever. My brothers used to bring to the high school games and watch high school varsity football team play each week and football was very popular in my town. When my brothers got to high school they played for the varsity team and I never missed a game. I was in middle school at the time and I started to develop a hearing problem.

At first, it was nothing but another ear ache, however, after visiting several doctors and getting different opinions it was far more than that. After having 5 surgeries to repair the damage in my ear drums I developed over the years wasn’t enough. I couldn’t use hearing aids because I had a condition that is called chronic ear infections. Every time my ear would drain it would damage the hearing aid. I am considered half deaf by several doctors after a number of hearing tests.

Started playing high school ball, kids on my team always joked with me and my hearing ability I knew it was jut guys being guys and they were my friends so it didn’t bother me. I played fullback and outside linebacker and I quickly saw the field as a freshman and started as a sophomore. Everyone was worried if I could hear all the play calls on the field with my helmet on with the all the noise from the crowd. However, I started at fullback for the next two years breaking records for touchdowns and rushing yards. I earned a scholarship to play football to several schools.

Going to college to earn an education and play football was an obstacle to tackle. Crowd noise was unbelievable for me to hear everything. Playing in front of a crowd of over a 100,000 people is very tough to hear much of anything let alone the quarterback. However, the way I get around that is I usually go on movement rather than sound. I struggled in high school with it but over the years I began to cope with it and have gotten better at dealing with it. I knew I could do it and right now to this day I am playing football getting an education and enjoying myself and not letting a little disability set me back from anything I want to do. No matter how hard things get keep your head up and handle it.