“Attack life, it’s going to kill you anyway.” – Steven Coallier. This appears to be a quote I live by on a daily basis and it frequently plays a role for every challenge that passes me by. During one of the most intimidating days of my life, I miraculously thought of this quote to motivate me and it has been embedded in my life ever since.
It was a busy day as usual in the city streets of Manhattan with the exception of the hundreds of people that were gathered together in Union Square with their attention focused on one person — me.
Never one to be comfortable in front of crowds, I found myself in front of them as well as my peers; about to raise awareness on the destruction in Haiti. Nervous, I waited there for my own words to take form, and the audience eagerly waited to hear them. Being a public speaker was a role I never thought I could play. After all, I’m an athlete and basketball is my obsession. But knowing the importance of the message I was about to share, I decided this was a risk worth taking. And then, before I could realize it, I began speaking with passion as if I had done this many times before. This event in my life helped me discover a new side of myself, one I never knew I was looking for. I saw this as a challenge that I needed to embrace with the same determination I had the first time I picked up a basketball. More importantly, I knew I had the responsibility to educate those in front on me on a cause that was greater than whatever fear I was feeling. After weeks of preparation and what felt like an hour of speaking, I left the stage a different person. Recognizing that fear and doubt only held me back, I began exploring my potential beyond sports. From there, I became a more outgoing person eager to take on new experiences, like taking acting classes and performing in plays. I even grew an appreciation for music learning to play instruments like the violin, piano, clarinet, and trumpet; which lead me to... [continues]
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