Love where you’re from
As some of you may know, I was raised in Cheyenne Wyoming. I got into sports there, I got into my first fight there, had my first kiss there, got introduced to white wash (Both the insult and the worse form of torture out there for a person with sensitive teeth) there. But I was originally born in Orlando Florida. My parents got divorced and I jumped around from Orlando to Tallahassee to Atlanta until we landed in Cheyenne.
The summer going into my Sophomore year of college I got a job here in Spearfish as a roofer. Hands down the worst job I’ve ever had. On the first week of work. The job foreman or whatever they’re called, came up to me and asked where I was from. Like the sheep I was, I told him Orlando Florida. One of my buddies Chris Mikal over heard what I said and started laying into me, “You’re from Wyoming!” “Don’t be ashamed of where you came from!” “We’re Wyoming boys, be proud of that shit.” Mind you, he wasn’t yelling. But with him being a year ahead of me in school and a spot above me on the depth chart I looked up to him. So I took it as him yelling at me. But he had a point. Why was I telling people I’m from Florida? Am I really ashamed to be from Wyoming?
Looking back on that day I’m glad I had a friend like Chris to set me straight. I am actually proud of being from Wyoming. I’m proud of being the 1st graduating class of Cheyenne South High School. Even though we lost every single football game my Junior and Senior years. I’m proud of playing for that school because my friends and coaches believed that I could use football to get further in life. They never gave up on me and look where I am now. Even though I don’t go home much these days I want everybody back in Cheyenne to know I couldn’t of made it this far without you.
Love where you’ve been
College College College. I can talk about College till I’m blue in the face. I’ve had some low points here. Some of them coming from my 1st and 2nd years here. I mean my first year was tough, but my second year was definitely worse. Pertaining to me failing out my freshmen year and quitting the football team.
To this day, quitting the football team was the biggest mistake of my life. I had just got a house with some of my closest friends, who just so happen to be on the football team. So they were pretty much gone 90% of the time. The other 10% of the time they spent sleeping. So I was stuck in this big 5 bedroom house by myself most days. I legit was stuck in there because Jesse and I shared a car and we lived outside of city limits. So he would naturally take the car to morning workouts and wouldn’t come back until after practice late in the afternoons. With all that time I had to myself you would think I would be passing all my classes. Wrong. I was barely getting by with a C average and definitely wasn’t in the running for the perfect attendance award. But as sad as it is, a C average was still a dub in my book.
In my many years here in Spearfish, the most important thing I’ve learned is, just because it’s easy to quit, doesn’t mean you should. Not just with quitting the team. But I’ve dropped so many classes because I was scared of failing. I’ve quit so many jobs because I was scared to give up my free time or because they were hard.
The way I see it, quitting is like doing cardio (for those people who wanted a post about fitness). Who likes doing cardio? Nobody! Unless you’re one of those cross country fanatics who are a different breed of human that can run a 5 min mile no problem. But other then those people, nobody likes doing cardio. But on the flip side, cardio is good for you. So you tell yourself you want to cut your mile time down and you come out and run by yourself on the track. But you quit on the 2nd lap. It’s easy to stop running and to stop pushing yourself when you’re alone. But if you have the right support system you’ll get it done.
I’ve had amazing people in my corner to keep me motivated and to keep pushing myself. I don’t say this enough but thank you to the coaches for letting me back on the team. If they didn’t let me back on the team there was no way I would’ve got my degree. I more then likely would’ve dropped out my 3rd year and moved back home like the 800 other guys who quit a sport. Also, thank you to all my brothers on the football team who stuck with me even when I quit and got me back on the team.
When I finally got back on the team that next semester I had to pick up a night job because I was running low on money. So I started working security at the best bar in town also known as the ZBAR. During the Spring Semester we had winter conditioning and spring ball coming up. There would be some nights where I would head into work right after study hall and won’t get off till 4 in the morning. Then I’ll head right to the locker room and take a power nap before heading out to practice. After practice I would have classes and meetings then had work again that night. Even with all that going on the thought of quitting never crossed my mind. Quick shout-out to the ZBAR crew who made work enjoyable and always had my back whenever somebody wanted to “try” the bouncer.
Looking back on it, working at the ZBAR is hands down the best job I had.
Love where you’re going
I know I talk about football a lot but that shit was a grind. Met up with a fellow washed up football player Tonn Tetrault at the bar last night. He was 3 or 4 years ahead of me my freshman year and about 5 or 6 beers into the night last night. This is the wisdom he dropped on me last night, “98% of people you graduated high school with are back home doing the same thing they’ve been doing since high school. Who can say they went to college and got that shit done. Who can say they played 5 years of football and got it done. I pride myself on that. I had played football my whole life and once I graduated I was like shit. That’s all I got. But I gotta take that same mentality I had in football and put it towards my career.” This is something I really needed to hear since I was stressing about my move and starting my career.
College Graduates, we’ve been through the ringer man. College is a grind! And we got that shit done. Some of y’all are off already taking on the world. Some of y’all went off to Graduate school and damn, y’all are the closest things to super heroes we’re gonna get. Be proud of that.
When I walked across the stage on May 5th, President Jackson told me to use my gift as he handed me my degree. Maybe what I’m doing right now is me using my gift. I haven’t been passionate about anything since footballs been over. Maybe this is my new passion. Everybody who reads my blog each week makes it feel that way. So thank you again everybody that’s been supporting me.