Perseverance is a word that all inmates should be familiar with because it’s something we will all personally face once we are released.
I talked specifically about this topic because at some point we will all be told we can’t do something. And then again, and again, and again.
Whether it’s getting a specific job because of our record, or we can’t live somewhere because of our past, or even just be present somewhere because of the way we look.
As far as I see it the only way we get out and aren’t told we can’t do something is if we go straight back to the drug game, which sadly will be the reality for some.
However, for those trying to do more in life, trying to rise to the occasion, and be part of the smaller percentage that stays out of prison, we will be told we can’t do something at some point.
Well, the other day I was watching an award ceremony on ESPN, and they were presenting the Jimmy V Award for perseverance to a man named, Rob Mendez.
And I quickly realized how small my problems in this world truly are.
You want to look for someone for inspiration? You don’t have to look much further than Rob. He has no legs or arms, and his passion is football.
Obviously, he knew his limits, and playing the sport personally was not going to be an option. But who says he can’t learn the game, master it, and teach it to others.
This man is now a head coach for a high school football program and an inspiration to all who think they are incapable of doing something.
It’s easy to tell yourself you can’t do something and move on or never try it in the first place, but those who don’t take no for an answer and find a way to do it anyway, those people create something truly special.
So, when I am sitting here thinking about going home and all the obstacles and challenges that I am going to face, I have to stop and put them into perspective and realize how small they are.
Another special I watched on ESPN was called “from the basement to the gridiron,” a story on Phillip Lindsay’s path to the pros.
Phillip was also told his whole life he couldn’t play in the NFL because of his size, even when he was a top 5 running back in D-1 football, out of the University of Colorado.
When he finished his senior year, he thought he was a shoe-in for the NFL combine, but they didn’t invite him. Then he blew up his pro day at Colorado in front of a bunch of NFL scouts, and he thought that would be enough to get drafted, but it wasn’t the case.
So, Phillip moved back into his parent’s basement and thought about just giving up on his dream. But he never did.
One day he received a call from the Denver Broncos and was offered a spot on the practice squad, and he almost turned it down becuase he was so upset about being overlooked. After his mom talked some sense into him, he took the opportunity, and by the end of the year, he was the leading rusher on the team. At the end of the program, they asked him if he has moved out of the basement yet, and he said he had no plan of moving out yet.
Phillip Lindsay’s story shows a test of both perseverance and humility. And has been a huge inspiration to me through this experience and I share that story with fellow inmates, so that we are all reminded that we can persevere.
Humility and Perseverance. Both things I will need a lot of to be successful upon my release.
I will also be living with mom upon my release and who knows maybe, for as long as she’s been taking care of me, I may just stay there forever… haha…
Some people aren’t willing to take a couple of steps back to set themselves up for the future.
But I know one thing. I will take McDonald’s over federal prison any single day.
Thanks for listening!