Growing up I always wondered what I would remember most about playing sports. I always wondered what valuable life lesson would stick with me the most in my adult life. As a kid and even into my High School days, I always thought it would be the game winners or something that had to do with the outcomes
of big games. Maybe the pretty girl you had a crush on would think you’re cool because you’re a “jock”. It turns out to be the complete opposite, I don’t think about any of those things. The first things that come to mind are the emotions I had playing sports as a kid without a care in the world.
I think about how sports instilled a sense of discipline in me at an early age. There’s no question where my work ethic came from, I’m from the Deep South, Austin, TX to be specific. Nothing makes you feel more invincible than finishing two-a-days in that 105 degree heat, ironically, nothing made you feel like you were gonna die quite like that as well. I sometimes wonder what the hell my life would look like without sports? How would of I stayed off the streets? If it wasn’t for sports and everything they taught me, I’d probably be in the same situations some of the guys I grew up with are in, dead or in jail. I’d be another statistic who couldn’t break the vicious cycle of poverty, I’d be leaving behind a trail of tears and wasted talent.
I learned the true meaning of teamwork because of sports. I learned that no single person is bigger than the main goal. I learned that every team has its roles and to be successful, everybody had to thrive in their space. To this day I use things I learned in middle school football to lead my pack of men in my everyday work life. I look at them as a team. You wouldn’t have a 300 lb man playing QB, right? You wouldn’t have the guy who can’t catch playing WR, right? My point is I learned how to use every bodies natural abilities and plug them into spots that will make the team move as a well oiled machine.
Even my ability to communicate with people has a direct correlation to sports. My ability to speak clearly and directly to get my point across stems directly from the no non-sense background sports provided for me. There was no excuses once you stepped onto the hardwood, the football field, or the diamond. It was either put up or shut up, talk is cheap unless you can back it up. Sports molded me into a responsible person who cared for someone’s other results than my own. For a short time, there was one heartbeat amongst your team. It’s something I can’t describe unless you’ve been apart of it.
I always knew that whether it be playing ball somewhere or using my natural talent of writing and story telling, that sports would be apart of my life forever. I knew that I’d be watching sports for the rest of my life and that I’d eventually pass that love down to my children. But, what I never imagined is that sports would shape my way of living. I never thought that sports would sculpt the way I look at the world and how I analytically break down data. In sports there is always a winner, you have a way to measure who was the best man on that particular day. I live my life like that. I attack every opportunity like it’s my last and I use everything at my disposal to come out with a W. I feel like second place is just the first loser. As crazy as this sounds, I hate losing more than I like winning. Take a second to think about how sports re-wired my brain.
To be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way.