I believe in confronting conflict. Conflict is more than a physical abnormality, it is spiritual, a must if you want to be a better person or some one who doesn’t run at the first sign of something wrong.
In the fall of 2007, football season was just beginning to heat up as the playoffs started. The emotional win against Muskegon heightened the odds that we could make it all the way to state, but one thing stood in the way, a standard of opposition, Lowell, the last test that lied before us. During the game, conflict hit me with such force I felt nerve jarring spasms radiating down the full length of my arm. Persevering on through the searing agony that infected my shoulder, I began to doubt my ability to continue playing, but I kept on. At start of the second half I was screaming, “Stop the pain, as my heart was reminding me the team needs you.” During this point of the game my character was the only thing keeping me going. As the battle raged, the only thing that mattered was the pain and getting rid of it. Giving in to the opponent landed me on the trainers table watching from the sidelines as the game spiraled downward out of my control. This has eaten at my soul, the what ifs: what if I had stayed in the game?
Wrestling started one week later, with me clamoring around with one arm in a sling. Once again I was on the sidelines. It amazed me how much I used to dread practice, yet the inability to participate made me miss it. An athlete hates the thought of practice but when finding his or herself out of it, they start to long to get back to the training.
Jeff Henderson (my wrestling coach) often spoke of this after an exceptionally hard practice and for upcoming duals. Life, like wrestling, is full of conflict. Instead of giving up and accepting the pin we should persevere and work through what ever challenge lies before us in order to have a chance to capture the win.