When I look at my life, and I think about the hardest things for me to overcome, I would have to say, the ultimate being, telling my mother and father that I would be sitting out of football my senior year of high school. Most would say how could this possibly be something that you would find challenging, but then you don’t know my mother and father. I started playing sports, football, in particular, at the age of 7. I was kind of a chunky little kid, even had a funny gait when I ran, but you couldn’t tell that if you talked to my parents. To my mom and dad, I was a superstar. I started playing flag football through the YMCA program, and then moved up to Pop Warner. Here’s the crazy part. My mom or dad came to every practice, and every game, rain or shine. I think I was the only kid that knew one of my parents would be on the sidelines, whether at practice or a game. Now to be honest, those were tough years for me, as most times, my parents would be watching me sitting on the bench, because I did not get to play very often. During those years, I put on a brave face and never let my parents know how embarrassed I was and how I felt I let them down. The crazy part was, when my parents met with other player’s parents, they talked about me like I was the star of the team, never made me feel bad for not playing in a game. Again, come rain or shine, they were always there for me. Those were tough years for me. Every coach found a reason why I just wasn’t ready to be a starting player. Then something really incredible happened during my 7th grade year. This didn’t start off incredible, in fact, it was quite humiliating. Everyone that wanted to try out for the 7th grade football team met after school one day. Here were all the players and parents that I had been playing with for the last six years, and as the kid that sat on the bench most of the time, you can imagine, I was the odd man out. All these parents...
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