Never Back Down

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Never Back Down
Have you ever had one of those moments when you wished nothing more than to just give up and leave everything behind? Stupid question, everybody has those moments. Well, for me it was more like I couldn’t simply lie down and give up. This big realization came to me when I was about ten years old, during the third practice football game of the season.

“TWEET!” The whistle to start the game finally came. My stomach was buzzing with angry butterflies. However, in my case they felt more like wasps the size of grapefruits. We had been practicing to face off last year’s runner-ups, the fat little boys from the park down the street, aptly called the “Rhino’s.” They were big, mean, and smelled like they had been bathing in their mascot’s droppings. We were the “Wolves.” Our team was smaller, but we had speed and skill on our side. Who has ever heard of a wolf overpowering a rhino? We were destined for failure.

We lined up and got into position, facing down, or rather facing up, our competitors, getting ready to fight for our victory. The first half of the game was brutal. I could feel my head pounding from getting rammed into the dirt over and over again. My arms were sore, and my legs were screaming for a break. The rest of the team wasn’t much better. We put our hands into the soft cool grass, waiting for our quarterback to start his cadence. It was as if everything slowed down and became like one huge thunderstorm. The screaming and shouting of the parents sounded like thunder pounding away at the sky in the distance, our helmets and bodies clashing together was the lightning striking the earth, and the rain was poor Johnny who scrapped his arm. He never could hold in his tears.

Again and again we got knocked down, and I’m still not sure what kept us going, but at the end of the game, we actually won. Sometime during that game, I remember thinking to myself, “Don’t you dare quit. As soon as you quit, everything else will follow.” I don’t...
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