All it Takes is a Little Blood, Sweat, and Tears

May 25, 2011
By , Carrollton, TX
The light gleamed through the spaces in my helmet. Panting and sweating like a horse, I threw my hands on top of my head. Deprived of oxygen and high quality H2O, attempting to focus on any one thought was mind bobbling. And the worst part was, we were only half way done. The second practice started at noon, with approximately only one short, concise hour break in between. Just enough time to eat a PB&J and get some hydrating Gatorade in my system. I was just a young teenager striving to be on the high school football team, as does any sophomore boy dream of. The chances were very slim, as the occurrence that a sophomore player even makes the varsity squad are rare. Thoughts of utter disappointment currently passed through my mind. Yet, I never lost that glimmer of hope that propelled me to persistently work towards my goal.

Ultimately, I had the same goal as most of my peers in football. Just to make the team would suffice as a huge accomplishment--well for some people it would--but I dreamed daily of being able to start that first game at the end of August. The image of me lining up across from a veteran player from another school sent a wave of excitement through my muscles, creating a tantalizing sensation. Of course there was always the intimidation factor of being so much smaller, about 5 feet 7 inches and 150 pounds, and not use to the varsity-level game speed. I would have to figure out other ways to make up for my lacking physicality, thus I increased my time studying game film and plays so that I would be mentally ready if given the opportunity to play. I maintained a steady weekly workout in the summer, building what strength I could before two- a-days and conditioning my body for the sizzling August heat. The preparation process was long, repetitive, and exhausting; however, I kept intrinsically motivating myself to strive for better and better. I wanted to be ready when, not if, given the chance to perform on the field.

To my surprise, this opportunity came tremendously sooner than I had anticipated. It seemed like one day I was stuck with the Junior Varsity team getting ready for the first scrimmage, the next I was pulled up to replace an injured senior at my position. I discovered that the senior’s injury would prove to be enduring, keeping him out of all but the last two games of the season. I realized I’d have to step up my game now, being his replacement. A grand breakthrough had taken its shape in the form of a saddened season ending injury. Even though I felt horrible for the senior, for I would experience my own depriving injury my senior season as well, I knew this was the shot I had been waiting the longest time for. The time to shine was now or never. I if proved capable of holding up a starting position on the team, I’d get to stay a part of the team.

The time to prove myself came on the first non-district game of the season against the Arlington Colts. A ranked team, they were a formidable first opponent. As I geared up during pregame, I shook nervously, more anxious than I had ever been before. My pulse throbbing and palms perspiring, I played different schemes and scenarios over and over again in my mind. Before I knew it, the teams were lined up for the first kick-off. With the traditional Creekview “C’s” thrown up, the crowd became increasingly louder, peaked, and then the game had begun. The coach then called my name; I was to go in on the first offensive play of the game. Petrified, I stumbled onto the field and told the quarterback the play. “Right wing fifteen veer, right wing fifteen veer, on one, on one, ready, break!”, repeated the quarterback to the rest of the huddle. Then, I simply hustled to my position and lined up for the play. I didn’t realize it at that precise moment, but I had just achieved one of my dreams.

The rest of the game was a huge blur from there. I remember we won the first of what was to be seven wins in a row, a huge deal for Carrollton Creekview High. We would go on to lose in the first round of playoffs, a disappointment that wouldn’t soon be forgotten. Overall, even though it felt very under-achieving, it was a successfully thorough season. Specifically speaking for myself, I had started on and lettered for a playoff football team as a sophomore. This was one of the brightest moments of my high school years. Nothing could tarnish the feelings of pride and high self-esteem that came along with accomplishing my goals. I persevered through all the blistering, hot practices, and it had paid off. From this one instance, I knew that if I set out to do anything, and gave it all my effort, the only thing that could stop me was myself.





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