On asweltering summer day I laidon the weight benchinside my high school’s gym grunting and struggling to no avail as i was surrounded by sweaty men twice my size.Needless to say my weight lifting abilities were not impressing anyone there. It was the end the summer and i was a week from starting my junior year of highschool and a week from starting my first season of highschool football. Unfortunately for a linebacker which was the position i wanted to play i was severely undersized, at 5’8 and 150lbs my chances of seeing the field were slimmer than how my scrawny arms looked in football pads. Worst of all i was underpowered compared to every other player at my position which was no one’s fault but my own for not lifting. Although it was my first year of highschool football i had played 6 years of youth. I had quit football originally becauseI was very much a late bloomer and started to get beat up by bigger kids at practice who looked like they were in highschool already. Sadly as a seventh grader i lost my love for the gameand quit. This seemingly harmless decision set me behind greatly as i missed what most people consider the most important developmental years.
The season began and i sat on the sideline feeling invisible to coaches and wishing i was one of the 11 kids chosen out of the 80 in the program to be on the field. I felt like i had failed to achieve my goal which was to play football not watch my teammates play.Luckily there was a simple way to get on the field which was hard work. I began to lift everyday whether i had to wake up early or stay up late after doing homework. I knew if i worked hard and hit the weights no one could stop me from achieving my goal. I found a comfort in knowing my destiny was in my hands and i was the only one who could fix my problem of not playing. My hard work began to pay off faster than i thought, i became a starter on the junior varsity team and was next up to be a member of the special teams units if someone needed replacement. I would describe my mentality throughout this process as relentless i never took a day off and i gave every bit of myself possible. According to the football program’s strength coach i had one of the most productive offseasons he had ever seen, I gained nearly 50 poundsand my strength nearly doubled in almost all of my core lifting exercises.
My senior season has been amazing I’ve been regularly playing on defense all year and although I’m still not the biggest kid growing two inches and gaining some weight allowed me to compete with anyone out there given my relentless attitude. Unfortunately i’ve broken the same finger twice in one season forcing me to take a little time off. I was able to play almost the whole season with the first break however the second break is keeping me off the field. Regardlessi’m still not giving up on my senior football season. I learned many things from football but the most important thing i’ve learned is to just believe in myself. No matter how many people told me i was too small or too unathleticI realised only i can Improve or worsen a situation. The relentless attitude and work ethic i developed from high school football can be applied to all areas of my life whether academic or family related or with a job. I will forever be grateful for the experiences i’ve had with my football team and how i’ve learned to deal with failure and improve myself as a player and more importantly as a person.