My brother, like myself, was not a ‘natural born athlete.’ I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t a good athlete as a young kid, however, he suffered an injury in the 7th grade requiring knee surgery. The following year he broke his arm. The injuries he sustained as a young kid really set him back, mentally and physically; he struggled with school and sports. At the time, I was bulking up for my senior year of college football. Multiple trips to Rudy’s Pizzeria and Yogurt Lovers really packed on the pounds for both me and Matt.
Matt always had an interest in the gym but wasn’t really fond of training, was never given preferential treatment, and once he hit high school he wasn’t exactly a ‘ringer’ in the weight room.
He didn’t let this discourage him and he never quit; it motivated him to NOT be denied of his goals. Breaking his hand in the first game of his Junior season didn’t stop him either, he pushed forward.
Matt excelled on the field and in school and ended his senior year with multiple opportunities to continue his career as a student athlete; ultimately committing to SUNY Cortland.
The kid that once struggled to crack the line-up in high school went on to play in every single game (freshman to senior year) at Cortland as both an offensive and defensive starter. By senior year he was being scouted and evaluated as a potential NFL player. The NY Jets expressed interest and brought him in for a workout – what an experience!
The point of this article isn’t to bolster Matt’s confidence. People can be shortsighted and see the “finished” product and throw out the must be nice commentary not realizing what it took to reach that level of play. Matt, like us all, moved on from football. However, the rock that he’s kept is the discipline.
He’s retained the lessons from being a student athlete and the weight room of being hungry, humble, and committed. He’s now gone on to become the youngest manager at the Yelp NYC office and still trains 5x per week.
The values learned in the gym transcend to all facets of life.
The question lies in who will become our next success story?
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