Let me clarify one thing before we begin this blog. I've had a tremendous amount of support to get to where I am today. Despite this fact, it doesn't mean everyone has been on my side. I've been doubted a lot in my life and I think many people can relate to that idea. There's always going to be someone who doubts your ability to succeed and that is one thing that I LOVE about life.
I've been doubted since my days on a pee wee football field. I would always hear, "You're not physical enough" or "You should play more like this kid" from a very early age and I received this criticism constantly. In the end of the day though, I was physical enough because as I got older that comment was always in my head every time I put my hand in the dirt on the line of scrimmage. That mentality made me into a Division I athlete. So to all those people...thank you!
Then football abruptly ended and I could no longer identify by the jersey I was wearing. So many people had written me off at that point. I was no longer a football player and everyone would ask me "You MUST miss football...right?" I was upset and it was a sore subject, but some people didn't care. There were even people in my life that identified themselves by ME playing football and at that point they turned their back on me. These comments and actions helped me form a new identity. So to all those people...thank you.
After football, I was weighing in at 340 pounds and on the verge of severe health issues. I lost track of the amount of times people told me, "You're big boned. You won't be able to get lower than 300 pounds" or "You'll probably only be able to lose about 5 pounds." Many times people would tell me they thought I'd have trouble losing anything. These statements made me lose 140 pounds. So to all those people...thank you.
When I started running I couldn't run a lap, but in the back of my mind I always wanted to run a marathon. I constantly heard, "That's a long way...Why don't you stick to shorter races." That comment turned me into an ultra marathoner. So to all those people...thank you.
For my whole life, the doubters have been in my ear and I've turned it into fuel. Every single day I wake up knowing a lot of people support me, but at the same time there are a lot of people who don't want me to succeed and I wouldn't have it any other way.
So to all those people...thank you.
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