Feeling Small

April 27, 2010
By Anonymous

Yes, I was scared. Of course I was scared. I felt like I was trying to tackle moving trains. I thought football was going to be easy, but I was wrong. I was so wrong.
“Thud!” It is the second day of football and my second practice ever. My back aches, my legs ache, my arms ache, my neck aches, and even my toes ache. I am waiting in the blistering heat to get pummeled again. Hit after hit always end in the same conclusion; me on the ground and the other person strolling away unharmed. I had awful technique for hitting, and it showed. I could take some hard hits here and there, but not from him, not from Clark D.
The first thing you need to know is that Clark D. is about ten times bigger than me. Not just physically, but mentally. Just speaking his name makes you think of the world of pain you could end up in. You may think I’m taking this a little bit too far, but trust me. Kids on my team cut in line so they didn’t have to be paired with him, and turned pale when they had to. Me, being a complete novice at the time, underestimated his football playing capabilities.

I was waiting in line to practice the hitting drill. One person carried the ball and had to run through a path of cones while the other person tackled him. It’s a pretty simple drill with enormous expectations. I was still trying to learn the technique for tackling and trying not to get obliterated by the other person. Guess who I was paired with, Clark D, of course. I stepped up into the path of cones, took a deep breath, and waited. Clark started off down the path of cones. With incredible velocity, he sprinted towards me. All I could do was wait. With each stride he came closer, and closer. I couldn’t move. My legs felt like they were cemented into the ground. I was a deer in the headlights, frozen. He was so close I could hear his breath. I lifted my foot to attempt a tackle, but it was too late. A wave of pain swept through my body like poison. I had failed, miserably failed. I opened my eyes. My coach was standing over me with a shocked expression on his face.
“You okay?”
“I’m fine,” I say even though I was wincing from pain.
“You sure?”
“Couldn’t be better.”
Thinking back on this moment makes me realize how important failure can be. If I never had this experience, I would not be as skillful and determined at football as I am today. I learned so much from this incident. It has taught me to recover from disappointment beyond the level I used to be at. By the end of the season, I was tackling Clark just the same as the other kids. I was no longer scared to fail, and no longer afraid to overcome massive obstacles in life.

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