The Beginning of the Climb (Part 1)

I wish I could tell you that the journey has been easy and that things have always been in my favor one way or another. Truth is, they haven’t, and the journey has been difficult. There has been a lot of resistance, and there have been times I honestly questioned everything. Here I stand, battered and bruised but I could never let anything break me. It has not always been like this, it took time to be able to grow into a confident person that I know I am. This is the story of how I ended up on the climb to Mount PT.

In 2011 after I graduated high school, I went to Northfield, Minnesota to play for St. Olaf College. I wanted to go to the University of Miami as a preferred walk-on, but my SAT scores would not allow me. That is a story for another day. I chose this Division three school over other many other programs because I was under the impression that I was going to be the star running back after senior star Leon Clark graduated. Just like many athletes, I had plans to go play pro ball. When I got to Minnesota, nothing was what I thought he was in the truth is I struggled. It was a huge adjustment college ball compared to high school, The plays were a lot more complicated, and I had never been in a system like this before.

I hurt my groin within the first couple weeks of training camp. After being injured, I began to drop down the depth chart. The season started and I was not where I wanted to be. My confidence started fading fast, and I was no longer in my mind the player that in high school broke school records at my school and played in the senior all-star game. Mental health is important, and I found myself falling into bouts of depression. It was so bad that I would have to go to my room and turn on my SAD (seasonal affective disorder/depression) light.

After returning from injury and moving back up the depth chart I had my opportunity to see the field. That possibility was cut short in practice the following week. I suffered a concussion in practice, I never mentally recovered for the rest of the season. Here I was in a cold dark state many miles away from my mother and grandmother. I found myself unmotivated and not caring about anything. This began the period where I messed up my grade point average before I could even get a full year under my belt. The events that occurred after did not make things any easier, and this is where I truly began to learn the meaning of fighting adversity. I knew there were highs and lows toward any goal, but it felt like I kept sinking lower and lower…

To be continued

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