We all face adversity.
Sometimes it's small, and sometimes it's the size of a mountain. Every day, we all face adversity.
In the face of adversity, we experience a moment of truth. Fight or flight. Go big or go home. Win or lose.
In that moment of truth, in a split second of frozen forever, we draw on our experience to guide us. Have I been in a similar situation before? Have I witnessed someone else in a similar situation? What are my options? What are my chances of success? What do I have to give up to have that chance? Am I brave enough, strong enough, smart enough?
Am I good enough to get this done?
In a society of second chances and coddling friends and family, it's so easy to look adversity in the eye, give it the Chuck Norris squint, clench our fists, and say, "Next time, adversity. This time, I'll pass." And walk away.
It's so damn easy to fly. To go home. To lose. To accept that I am not good enough.
America needs experiences, you and I need experiences, of overcoming adversity.
When Greg Childs catches his first NFL touchdown, and conquers his adversity, he's going to cause a spark. The spark might affect 1 person, or it might affect a million. Make no mistake about it though, he's going to cause a spark.
If you don't know Greg's story, let's reflect for a moment.
Greg Childs started playing football at a very young age. Today, he and his childhood friend, Jarius Wright, are wide receivers for the Minnesota vikings. They played in high school together, they played in college together, and now they are in the NFL together. They are living a dream that millions of children in America have dreamt, are dreaming, and will dream. They want to do what they love with the people they love.
We all need to understand, firstly, that he earned it. His dedication and perseverance was a much stronger influence than luck as he worked towards his dream.
On his journey, Greg faced adversity. Just like everyone else. In his Junior year in college, he ruptured his right patellar tendon. This tendon is required for your leg to work. He fought back. He worked hard. He committed to himself that he would overcome adversity. He was drafted into the NFL by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round of the 2012 draft, the same round his childhood friend and college roommate, Jarius, was drafted. A dream come true.
Only months later, with 2 plays left in a summer scrimmage in Mankato, MN, Greg went down again. He screamed, and Jarius heard him from across the field, undoubtedly tangibly feeling his best friend's physical and emotional pain. Untouched on the play, Childs had leapt into the air to catch a pass, this time injuring the patellar tendon on each of his knees. Greg reminisced, "You go into shock, but first it’s a terrible pain. And then you can’t move your legs because there’s nothing connecting them together anymore." His dream was again at stake. Adversity threatened to rob him of what he wanted and deserved.
For the last year, Greg has faced the gauntlet once again. He's been working hard, rehabbing, busting his ass from dawn til dusk 7 days a week.
He again faced adversity, just like you and me. Every day, we all face adversity.
Greg chose to fight. To go big. To win. Greg chose to be good enough.
He has provided valuable experience to America, to you and I, that we can draw from in our moments of truth each and every day.
When Greg Childs catches his first NFL touchdown, he's going to cause a spark. You'll feel it, and I'll feel it. This world is going to change ever so slightly, subtly. It will change. His story of overcoming adversity will resonate. And maybe, just maybe, that spark will change a life.