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When One Journey Ends, Work Harder

"I was honest with myself and realized that I didn't have much talent and the only way I would get better was through hard work."

~ Captain Christopher Randall


Lacrosse, "The fastest game on two feet," is what they call it, and it has been a focal point for many years of my life. I started playing lacrosse in the third grade after a friend introduced me to the sport, and I instantly fell in love. Lacrosse didn't come naturally to me because I was used to playing football and basketball, and having a stick in my hands felt awkward. Yet, I was determined to become better and improve my skills through countless hours of shooting, passing, and conditioning. My first lacrosse coach ever was Coach White, and even though it is a bit cliché, he said to the team, "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." And that stuck with me. I was honest with myself and realized that I didn't have much talent and the only way I would get better was through hard work. This lesson is something that I value and uphold to this day, and I have even applied it to my schoolwork, and it has become a part of who I am. I learned how fortunate we all are to have parents that sacrifice their time to bring us to practice and games.



In the 8th grade, I was fortunate to be coached and mentored by Coach Ronan. Now he was not your ordinary run-of-the-mill coach; this guy was intense! He wouldn't let us walk on the lacrosse field, he would scream in our 13-year-old faces, and his conditioning was brutal. One time, one of my teammates was late to practice, so coach Ronan had him stand in the middle of the field and scream at the rest of us to run faster as we ran suicides up and down the field until one kid was vomiting. Despite all the conditioning we had to do, I am very thankful I had this man as my coach because I learned a lot about myself and many lessons along the way. For example, he told us that his parents never used to come and support him at his youth lacrosse games when he was a kid, and I learned how fortunate we all are to have parents that sacrifice their time to bring us to practice and games.


I started out as this skinny, 130-pound, weak guy, passionate about making a change.

My first-ever high school game is one that I will never forget. My teammates and I were meeting each other for the first time and getting used to playing with each other. About halfway through the game, one of my former teammates broke this kid's ankles and then proceeded to taunt the kid by waving at him while running by. This struck a nerve with my coach (Coach Hoffman), and he screamed, and I mean screamed! At this kid to "Get off my field!" Once the kid got to the sideline, Coach Hoffman absolutely blew up on him with some words that aren't appropriate to say on this blog and benched him for the rest of the game. Although it was funny, I learned a very valuable lesson that day about humility, and it can be summed up as, "If you get a touchdown, act like you have been there before."



In addition to high school lacrosse, I would play club lacrosse in the fall and summer. At one of these practices was a D1 scout for Sacred Heart, and he said something that changed how I thought about lacrosse. He said, "Lacrosse should be fun, and if you're not having fun, why are you here?" To be honest, I wasn't having much fun in lacrosse anymore, and the flame had died out. I still needed something to do if I wasn't going to play lacrosse, so I decided to start lifting weights. I started out as this skinny, 130-pound, weak guy, passionate about making a change. I taught myself how to diet correctly to gain weight and build muscle. I learned what exercises work what muscles, and how to correctly train in order to achieve results. In a single year, I was able to gain 46 pounds and transform from this skinny and weak guy into a somewhat muscular individual.



It is year two now of lifting, and I have faced quite a few challenges in these two years alone, but the lessons I have learned and the knowledge I have gained have been very rewarding. It is hard to pick from all of the lessons that I have learned, but if I had to boil it down, the three that the gym has taught me include; (1) Seek out pain and discomfort because it will make you stronger, (2) accountability and consistency will pave the path to success, and (3) it doesn't matter if no one is watching. I am very thankful for the knowledge I have gained along the way because I can apply it to my schoolwork and especially my job at Halftime Help. I am very proud of how far I have come and can't wait for what the future holds.

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