How I Learned To Never Give Up

I was supposed to be aborted. Before I was born, multiple tests confirmed I had Down Syndrome. Against the doctor’s recommendation, my mother decided to give birth to me understanding the full time commitment it would require. There’s no way I can (fully) thank my mom enough for the risk she took. Looking back on it now, I strive to make the best out of a situation that was scripted to go bad either way.

My first year of public school was my freshman year of high school. Before that, I came from a private christian school. At the time, I was a very fat, unathletic individual. I don’t think those friends realized it then but their playful but constant ridicule of my weight was very psychologically damaging for me. I wanted to start fresh so I made the best and worst decision of my life. I signed up to play football for Troy High. I knew nobody. I didn’t even know the rules. I didn’t even have a specific position in mind but I took that leap of faith.

Last year is when I got the first real taste of intensity. As a junior on varsity, I had to prove myself worthy to play. I was brought down so low by the most unreasonable of coaches. My best friends lost it and told him off. I don’t think any of the defensive linemen could blame him because we all were just as close to quitting as he did. It was moments like that, when I was brought so close to the edge, that I learned to never give up.

Around that time is when I suffered my back injury. The weeks and months following the event were the most difficult moments of my life. What I had been working so hard at was suddenly gone. I couldn’t play anymore with the team that was actually doing good for the first time in a long while. I questioned myself. I questioned God. I questioned why I put so much effort into the program. It was in those dark moments where I was forced to learn how to bounce back.

I did the therapy. I took care of myself. Many sleepless nights and tears later, I was up and running again. I only had a few months until my last season of football and I invested every minute of it. Day after day, I put in the work last summer to condition my body for the trials to come. My return and recovery was recognized enough that my fellow teammates voted me one of their 4 captains. It was through leading my team mates through the thick and thin that I learned it was never about the name on the back of the jersey. It was only about the name we all wore on the front.

I look at all the progress I’ve made and I am reminded that none of this was supposed to happen the way it did. I am very grateful that life played out in my favor but, even then, I don’t let my success get to my head. What separates me from many of my peers is that I am never ok with being “good enough.” I constantly surround myself with people who are better than me in every aspect of life and as a result, I never stop growing. I consistently better myself everyday because I know that if I’m not moving forward, I’m sliding backwards. Simply put, Michigan State University is the next chapter in my relentless pursuit. I stand ready to face the rigorous academic challenges I will be forced to grow through. 

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How I Learned To Never Give Up. (2023, Jan 26). Retrieved from