Self-Examination…

Everything I'm not…Makes me Everything I am…

My Motivation for Success…Part III

The time had come for me to move back to Colorado. There was no way that I was going to be away from my child and not be there to watch her grow. So after the semester ended, I hopped right onto a plane to head back to Denver to prepare for this baby girl. This was a very scary moment in my life, knowing that I would have to care and be responsible for another life. It scared me to the point that my “MOTIVATION FOR SUCCESS” came back to me.

I was motivated to do something I loved. I just wasn’t exactly sure of what it was at the time. I always had a list of things I would want to do (I still have this list.) but at the time I wasn’t qualified to do any of those things.  I still had to find a way to provide for this baby on the way.

About a week after I returned to Denver, my Godmother had talked to me about taking a job at a middle school as a paraprofessional. I decided to take her up on that offer. Being a server is something I’ve always enjoyed, so I decided to give it a shot.

I put on my interview face, and of course my interview outfit. I didn’t own a suit at the time and I doubt that the interview required one so a button-up and some slacks would have to suffice.  I still had long hair (My father wasn’t very fond of the “braids”) so I had to get my corn-rows freshly done.

I wish I could say that my nice button-up and corn-rows impressed the Principal enough to give me a shot, but in reality, that opportunity may have never come without my Godmother.  I didn’t care though. I was just appreciative of the opportunity.

I do remember the interview well though. The teachers I would be helping double-teamed me. One of the teachers did most of the talking. They would ask me questions that I don’t feel I had the best answers to so I just smiled often and hoped that would get me by.  I tried to pull out every lame interview trick I knew. I went on about how I would work really hard and be dependable.  For some reason I felt like I was getting that, “You’re lucky you are who you are” look. But they continued with their questions and I continued to smile and be honest. It seemed to have worked out for me. They began to smile more and seem more relaxed. I was in there!

What does all of this mean? Not much yet. Just some small details that I wanted to tell of how I’ve become who I’ve become.  You have to wait until part III. I have to hit this rehab session to get my knee better.

January 28, 2010 Posted by | My Life..., Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UPDATE!!! UPDATE!!! UPDATE!!!

I want to apologize to all of my readers for my being away for so long. I’ve had a lot going on but I am back now. I just want to update everybody on what I have been doing for the past month. My luck Sean Whitehas been up and down lately but I am still doing “Better than I deserve!”

As most of you may know, me and my fellow VOLS ended the season with an overtime victory over Kentucky and began our bowl preparations for our game against Virginia Tech in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. That didn’t turn out so well.

Because of the foot injury that I suffered early into the season, I missed most of the season and had a chance to come back for the bowl practices. Unfortunately, the day after I returned to the practice field, I was injured again, tearing my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in my left knee. This was a devastating injury and it is making me consider hanging up my cleats and putting my business suit on for good. I stayed around for the bowl practices but did not go to Atlanta for the game. I made the decision to go home and spend the holidays and bring in the New Year with my daughter and the rest of my family.

After the New Year, I returned to Knoxville for surgery on my knee. I am about two weeks out now and I am well ahead of schedule. I have been doing rehab for 3 hours a day with what I believe is the best medical/training staff in the nation.

Classes have now begun and I’m preparing to launch another business.

All is well and I am still doing “BETTER THAN I DESERVE.”

Part III of “My Motivation for Success” to come tomorrow…

January 27, 2010 Posted by | My Life... | , , | 4 Comments

What Will You Achieve in 2010???

What Will You Achieve in 2010???

It seems as if everyone intends to get fitter or improve some type of performance in the New Year. But to be honest, we all know that by the time the year ends, we will not have achieved much. So why is it this way?

After days, weeks, or a few months, we all usually go back to our old ways and how we were. Then we will look back and say, “I gave up because I was too busy.” We always find an excuse. Blaming ourselves and busy schedules when most of us just have really bad time management.

This may surprise you but I’ve learned that most of the time we fall back, it may not have been our fault. Most of the time when we fail to reach our goals, it is because we have made them too difficult to achieve. We fail to reach our personal goals because they are too time-consuming, inconvenient, or ambitious. The new plan always looks good at first, but when it becomes obvious how much you have to put into it, the motivation goes away.

This is no one’s fault because our time is limited and we can’t get any of it back or create any more.  We all want more, but time waits for no one.

So let’s work on managing the little time that we do have and make the best of it. We can do this by eliminating “black holes” or wasted time doing things like watching television or just getting too much extra sleep.

This year I want to not only get physically fit, but spiritually and financially fit as well. Let’s GET IT!!!

January 4, 2010 Posted by | Encouragement, Fitness and Health, My Life... | Leave a comment

My Motivation for Success… Part II

Growing up it was a little easier for me than most because I have the greatest parents. Then I got to college and that is when I began to have struggles of my own. To start it off, I had a back injury and I was unable to play football and it all went downhill from there. My parents had done so much for me I began to try to do those things on my own because I didn’t feel that I should be asking them for anything if I’m not trying to help myself. So instead of asking, I just continued to struggle. I had so many jobs not even they knew about. I refuse to even put them on my resume because I think they are dumb and I am embarassed or they didn’t even last long enough. I began to wonder why I was even trying to do this.

One thing I always knew once I got into college was that I would be working for myself one day. One day I would not have to rely on anybody elses success but my own and I would pay my parents back for having such a wonderful childhood. I would tell myself this everyday. But even when I told myself this, I would even have my own doubts about it. I wasnt sure that it could ever happen. All of this time I would just hope that it would work out but I had very little faith in myself or anything else.

I remember living in Los Angeles with 8 friends in a 5 bedroom house. I didn’t even have my own room. I didn’t have a closet. I was living out of my suitcase that everyone knew was mine the whole time. I would be sleeping on an old beat up couch that was even too short for me and my 5’4″ frame. The place had potential, but with the way we lived it wasn’t the nicest place to be. To top it off, I didn’t have a car either. I would go to LenDale’s every once in a while in downtown L.A. so I could find my hunger again because at this time I had begun to develop a lazy personality even when it came to school and it had an effect on my academic progress. I couldn’t let my parents know this and I didn’t want to disappoint them so I had to change this.

At this time, I had also began to gain a lot of weight because I was living off of happy hour food, free meals from credit card offers and anything else I could get. I began to take what my parents gave me and tried to stretch it by using the dollar menu and we all know that menu isn’t the healthiest of them all. I put on 40 pounds in my first year of college. I believe my confidence had been shot now. I was having a little fun, but all in the wrong ways. Believe me, I found ways to enjoy myself. I was living in one of the biggest cities with way more energy than I could handle and beautiful women. The women weren’t even that interested in me with my short stature and growing belly. But that’s another story. I began to grow out my hair and eventually had braids. I was going in the wrong direction and fast!

I always knew I wanted to do something that I loved. I just had no idea what it was at the time and I wasnt as motivated to find it as I thought I would have been. I didn’t feel I was qualified to do anything yet. Then came the call…

I would be having a baby…

Stay tuned for part III.

December 21, 2009 Posted by | Inspiration, My Life... | | 2 Comments

An Update on Me…

Thinking...

I would like to apologize to everyone for not having posted lately. I have had a lot going on so I have not been able to update as often as usual. The season was coming to an end and it was “FINALS” time. As you all may know, I have been out of football since we were preparing for Florida (14 weeks). Two Fridays ago I made my return, only to tear my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) the next day. I will have surgery the first week of January and will be out 6-8 months. I may have played my last down of football after 20 years but I have been through worse so I will definitely bounce back. I guess it is a good thing that football has always been a “PLAN B” for me. However, the injury has given me some time to sit and think about my life.

Recently, I have not been as focused as I feel I should be. I have been busy getting addicted to trying to pursue success. Because of this I have been unable to focus on the things that I need to do. Being a full-time student, an athlete, a father, and an entrepreneur hasn’t been working well with my desperate need for adventure, and its deterring me from my goals. I felt like I had finally hit the bottom and I am bouncing right back up now.

There are so many things that I love to do but the main thing is “SERVING.” Because I love to help people, and there are so many ways to help, I have been stretching myself too thin. My family has been very supportive in helping me understand that I am still in school and that I don’t need to have all the answers right now. So right now, I am putting all of my focus on learning. I’m going to learn, learn, learn. I’m going to learn all I can about my FAITH, finances, health and fitness, and as much as I can about business so that when I do finish school (4 majors), I will have created a base of knowledge so that I am more than prepared when it is my time. I am unsure of when that time will come. But one thing I do know is that I will be ready.

Right now we are preparing for our Bowl Game against Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-a Bowl. The game will be played at the Georgia Dome in  Atlanta, Georgia on New Year’s Eve.  We will be spending the week in Atlanta so I will be letting all of you in on my Bowl experience. Talk about the ultimate bowl game experience! I get to spend New Year’s Eve in Atlanta hopefully after a nice win over a Top-15 Ranked team in the last football game of the year 2009. A game featuring two of the most dominant conferences in college football in the SEC and the ACC. Hopefully Ill get to shop the vibrant downtown area and take in a nice fireworks display. The game had sold out before it was even confirmed that we would be playing in it. You don’t find more passionate fans than those that we have in the Big Orange Vol Nation. PRIME TIME!

I will be posting Part II of My Motivation for Success soon. Thanks for taking the time to read. I’ll work hard to provide stuff worth your time and attention!

December 20, 2009 Posted by | My Life..., Tennessee Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Motivation for Success… Part I

My Motivation for Success… Part I

I started playing football at the age of four. Growing up I always thought that football would be what I would do for a living. It wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I decided to make football Plan B for me.

I always went to my older cousin’s (Chauncey Billups) house and I would tell myself that I would definitely have something like that one day. I was always sure it would be by making money the same way he is. Everytime I went over to his house it just made me more hungry for success.

I loved the cars he would have. I loved how every little basketball player in Park Hill would mock his skills on the court and say they were Chauncey. I loved how every day I somehow got a new family member that didn’t even know his parents names. It’s like Kanye West said, every summer I got two dozen, new cousins. I love the respect he had. I loved how it seemed like I never saw him in the same shoes or clothes twice. I loved how it seemed like money was not a problem for him. I loved how on the outside, it seemed like there was never a time he felt stressed or depressed. As I began grow older, I started to realize that there were other people living in that neighborhood and they weren’t professional basketball players and I began to wonder how they were able to afford those homes. What kind of careers those people had.

I then began to start researching who those people were in those homes. The more I learned, the more football began to be pushed to the back. I also learned that my cousin was not as happy as it may have seemed. He had some trials of his own that he would be going through that I didn’t pay much attention to. He kept getting injured, traded, etc. If I was to be blessed enough to make it to the NFL, it would be nothing but a plus. If I wasn’t, I would still have my original plan in action.

I remember when I would look at my parents and wonder why we didn’t have a place like that. My parents have had their high’s as well as their lows. I wondered why they were working so hard but I could rarely see the rewards they were getting. Looking at my father now, I feel he is definitely getting what he deserves and his hard work is paying off…

I guess money was my motivation in my younger years…

You’ll have to wait until Part II and beyond to see how I began to develop my ways. Right now, I have important things to do like get treatment on my injuries so I can get healthy and enjoy my time with my daughter…

December 8, 2009 Posted by | My Life... | , | Leave a comment

A Lil’ Update on me and the VOLS…

  

(Photo)

Montario Hardesty

My most recent post told you how my Thanksgiving went so Ill just update you on the team. The Saturday after Thanksgiving we played the Kentucky Wildcats. It was a great game as usual.  It was close the entire game and eventually went into overtime.  

In overtime, they got the ball first and failed to get any points on the board missing a field goal. When we got the ball, a fellow Running Back, Montario Hardesty broke for a 20 yard run to end the game. The Vols continued a streak of 25 straight years with a victory over the Wildcats and Tario got Co-Offensive Player of the Week.  

We finished the regular season at 7-5 hoping to receive a bid to the Cotton or Outback Bowls to continue post-season play. However, both bowls passed on us and today we were informed that we will be playing in the Chick-fil-a Bowl in Atlanta Georgia on December 31, 2009. Although it wont be official for several days, we will be playing against Virginia Tech. This makes for a good matchup and a very interesting game that people have wanted to see for years. Ill be sure to get some video footage of my bowl experience.  

P.S. Yesterday I did my first conditioning since I injured my foot in early September. Yea, it wasn’t fun at all. But Ill be back.

December 1, 2009 Posted by | My Life..., Tennessee Football | , , | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving 2009!!!

Thanksgiving 2009

Thanksgiving 2009 wasn’t the norm for me. I usually spend it with my excessively large family back home in Denver, Colorado. This year I spent Thanksgiving in Chattanooga, Tennessee with some of my VOL family.

The gang at "THE HOOD"

The day started off as normal. I woke up to several Thanksgiving text from friends and family and I sent some of my own out as well. Most of my family and friends from back home hadn’t waken up yet so the responded later in the day. After an early morning practice for the VOLS, the players all rushed to go their separate ways. Everyone was anxious to get that good ol’ Thanksgiving food into their stomachs. Most of us haven’t eaten like that in a long time.

I wasn’t really feeling the holiday but I didn’t want to miss out on the tradition so I got dressed and hit the road to head to Chattanooga with my roommate, Quintin, my daughter, Sanaai, and her mother Chardae.
After the one and a half hour drive we arrived to Chris Walker’s, mother’s house. There, I met Chris’ other siblings as well as Eric Berry’s family. His parents, 2 twin brothers, and grandmother were there as well as Victor Thomas’ and Quintin Hancock’s mother. Soon after we arrived, Chris and E.B. came in with some other teammates of mine, Tauren Poole, Bryce Brown, and Janzen Jackson were all there.

After being there for a few minutes, I took a walk into the kitchen and as I stepped in, there was an array of wonderful foods presented to me. After socializing and watching some of the football games for a little while, Chris lead us in prayer as we blessed the food.

After letting our food settle some of us headed outside. As we were walking out the door I heard someone say, “OOOOH, he’s short!” I looked back and it was E.B.’s grandmother. Everyone laughed. I then introduced myself and sat to chat for a while. That’s my new buddy now.

Once I got outside I realized that Chris and E.B. are really 13 years old at heart. I never knew they were so silly. Janzen Jackson fit right in with them. Chris would constantly taunt E.B. with his theme song, “ERIC BERRAAAY, ERIC BERRY!” E.B. would come back with, “GO! GO! Christopher Walkerrrrrrr!”

After being out there for a while, everyone noticed Janzen had went and got lost in the woods somewhere and they went to go look for him. Sanaai and I stayed back. After finding him everyone headed to jump on the trampoline and then returned back into the house. Later, our team Chaplain, Roger Woods and his family arrived to the house. Everyone gave him a standing ovation because he had been running a little late. He then prayed over the home and everyone headed to “The HOOD.”

This wasn’t the average hood that I was expecting to see. “The HOOD” was actually the home of Mr. and Mrs. Hood. The Hoods have a beautiful home. When we walked in the son gave us a tour of the house and I was amazed. Once we got to the theatre, the tour stopped because everyone got comfortable in the recliners and didn’t want to move. However, we all headed downstairs to eat desert where Mrs. Hood had several choices that all looked great. We had more choices for desert than we did for the actual meal. Mrs. Hood did a great job preparing the desert.

After desert, some of us headed back up to the theatre where Janzen and E.B. were trying to teach themselves how to play the guitar. They then did a premiere of their new single, “That FAT Man.” It was hilarious. When we heard Chris and his brother singing on the mic downstairs, the rest of us headed down. Chardae then sang a couple of selections and Sanaai blessed us with her voice to finish it off. I have to get that recording on here.

Overall I enjoyed my Thanksgiving and I am glad I made the choice to head to Chattanooga. Thanksgiving with the Walker, Berry and Hancock families turned out to be one to remember.
I would like to THANK Chaplain Roger Woods as well as Mr. and Mrs. Hood.

“Gratitude consist of being more aware of what you have than what you don’t.”

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

November 30, 2009 Posted by | My Life... | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Journey Back to the Field…

Not long ago I was eating and swapping stories with some old football buddies and they began to joke about me being the oldest on the team. It made me think of what I had to go through to get to this point in my life.

Before this season, I had been away from the football field for 5 seasons. That’s longer than most player’s entire college careers. I’ve been to Los Angeles to Fort Collins and now I am here in Knoxville at the University of Tennessee.

There have been a number of bumps in the road preventing me from playing football at the college level. Starting with being undersized for the sport and dealing with all the politics involved with the sport, then dealing with injuries all while trying to juggle me2being a student and a young father as well. But I could not let these obstacles deter me from my dream. I had to maintain my faith and keep pushing towards my goal. I had to refuse to quit. I had to mend an old wound and I hope to inspire others by doing so.

In the spring of 2009, I finally became a part of the Tennessee Volunteers football team; two years after enrolling. I went through the spring dealing with even more complications that kept me away from the field for most of spring practice. I went all the way through the summer not knowing if I would be invited to fall camp.

On the first day of camp I received a call to report to fall camp and to move into the dorm. I was excited because it was official, but I was also nervous because this would be the first camp I had experienced since high school. It was a great feeling. However, I had played cornerback and two days into camp I was moved to Running back. I hadnt played that position since I was in junior high. I was nervous, but I felt that it was a better move for me.

Throughout camp I had turned some heads with my surprising play at a position I hadnt played in almost 10 years. In our first scrimmage I only received one carry because I had just been moved to the position. It ended up being a run that caught the eye of many of the coaches. The next week I received praise from many of them. But when our Defensive Coordinator, Monte Kiffin, the greatest defensive mind in all of football came up to me, I knew I had done something right. I continued to do this through the rest of camp, but towards the end of camp, the tide turned on me again.

I became ill in the last few days of camp and missed the most important scrimmage. When I returned the next week, I had lost some ground and wasn’t able to compete. After about a week I was back into the routine and had another great week.

On September 5, 2009, I was able to experience some great Tennessee traditions. I was able to do the Vol Walk and run through the “T.” The next week I was on the service team helping prepare our defense for the #1 Florida Gators. The defensive coaches were ecstatic of my efforts. But….again, another hurdle was thrown in my way.

meWhile doing team drills that week, I made a plant on my left foot and was unable to put any weight on it. I later learned that I had torn the tendon on the bottom of my foot. Not again…

I wondered if God was telling me that I needed to stop. But I don’t believe he gave me the opportunity to experience these things for no reason. Sometimes God uses trials to get us back on track. Most of us have chosen an unhealthy and worldly lifestyle that is self-destructive. Most of the times trials can knock us back to our senses. It can give us a reality check. All is not well. And most importantly you are not well.

Well today was my first day back on the field in over 7 weeks. My foot isnt completely healthy but I was able to take part in all the practice drills and I am excited to be back. On my first carry I was given a good “Welcome Back” smack.

I hope to inspire all of you with my story. I just want to let all of you know that things get hard but that doesn’t mean that its time to give up.

Trials are opportunity for your personal growth and greatness. Do not run away from it.

October 29, 2009 Posted by | Encouragement, Inspiration, My Life..., Tennessee Football | 3 Comments

My Eyes Are Opened…

Below is a modified song that tells my story and how my eyes have been opened. Some of you may have seen it because I posted it on my Facebook page a while back. I want to make sure everyone reads this. Get to know me…

Good evening brethren, let’s go a special direction.
Look back, let’s meet a young’n that was born in 85.
His parents were so happy, rejoicing at their new blessing.
He breathes life, at the same time death without a question.
His parents gazed in his eyes, adoring him as he hollers.
He got his eyes from his father, he got his nose from his mama.
It’s crazy how this baby, is so precious but I’m saddened
He got his name from first lady, and his depravity from Adam.
That’s how it goes and hey look as he grows
You can see he’s so blind, his eyes seem as they closed.
He’s so weak and it shows, he can’t keep from what He knows
Is wrong, he knows it’s bad but dang he wants it though.
And all throughout his years, he looks good to his peers
And his parents, and his self but if we could only peer
On the inside, we’d see that from the start it was dark
Until a Savior stepped in and gave Him a new heart, eyes opened!

 
Yeah I was blinded in the past, like my mind was in the trash
Incapable of doing good or even finding him the task.
Was beyond what I could grasp, my righteousness is rags
So He had to do all the work, by His design you do the math.
The math, who get’s the glory, hey who get’s the praise?
Predestined, I was elected, resurrected from the grave.
Plus His loved was never based on my past or present state
On anything that I obtained I was a mess but blessed with grace.
By grace, I’m in love with Him.
He gave me something within.
He doesn’t love me cause of me…nope He loves me because of Him.
No He didn’t have to save and raise me when I was dead
But He dragged me out the morgue, now the praise of His name is spread.
He died for all He would save, it’s crazy the Savior bled
Erasing taking my dread, and gave me some grace instead.
The kind I wouldn’t resist, I came praise be to Him
And I’m confident if I’m in Him Ima make it to the end with my eyes open!
 
 
 
 Now that my eyes is open, gotta keep that Bible open.
Not just so that I can quote Him, I’m hopin’ that I’ll behold Him
Until I lay in the grave, I’m praying I’ll stay in motion.
Gazing with eyes of faith He gave me baby, I’m focused.
I’m praying all through my 20’s I’ll see Him in 20/20
Looking at Him till I look like Him almost like His twin He’s
So merciful, His Word is so packed I’m telling many
About the glory of Christ, tryna rep Him with all that’s in me!

October 28, 2009 Posted by | Inspiration, My Life... | 2 Comments