Be Still. Be Free. Be Content.
A lifestyle blog about achieving balance in your everyday life.
Don’t Just Go Through the Motions
This time of year always brings about a sense of sadness for me. Many average high school football players, like myself in 1994, have played in their final games. As I reflect back on my life, I have come to realize that over my 38 years, being an average high school football player has been my greatest accomplishment. I particularly remember 24 years ago, on a very hot August day, I went to my first “two-a-day” football practice. I was just entering high school and knew nothing about the game of football. With anxiety and nervousness, I took the field for the first time. I will never forget that summer day.
My dedication to football started because of a few simple, but powerful words spoken by Coach Stickney. 24 years later I don’t remember any of our plays, not many of our drills and have no idea on how many wins or losses we had, but what I do remember is coach yelling out in the summer heat, “Don’t just go through the motions.” That phrase has stuck with me throughout all these years and not a day goes by that I don’t think about coach yelling at our team to put forth our best effort every time.
No one is immune from finding themselves sliding through life from time-to-time because we have gotten comfortable and a little lazy. I think that it would be impossible not to with the significant changes and life events that we all endure. However, when I find myself “going through the motions”, I think of coach’s words and it reminds me that nothing comes easy and that you have to work hard for everything. More importantly, sometimes the reward is actually in the work itself. I think that I enjoyed football so much because it didn’t come easy to me and I’m competitive, so I tried extra hard even though I may have only been considered an average player to some. In my senior year, I was elected co-captain of the Grant Tigers and I know that coach had something to do with it, because he knew that I was exhibiting strong leadership traits through hard work. I was given this honor, not because I was the best player on the team, but because of my effort and because I lead by example. This continues to give me significant pride and a sense of accomplishment even in my adulthood.
Later in life, I started to realize that my brother lived by this same principal [learn more about my brother, Chad, and his struggles here]. Chad made every moment count. If, for no reason, other than his own pride and happiness. He can be proud of himself, because although he may have never cured cancer, he taught a community that you can be successful despite having cancer by having pride in yourself, always working hard and never giving up. I can honestly say that Chad never just “went through the motions”.
So, when you start your day tomorrow, doing whatever it is that you do, and find yourself going “through the motions”, think of Coach Stickney’s inspiring words and realize you don’t have to have a reason to try harder other than for yourself. No matter your skill level or talent, if you work hard today, you will always have pride in your accomplishments tomorrow and no one can take that away.