Over 20 years ago, as a grade school pup, I embarked on my first love. If I can stamp a moment in my life when I knew, unequivocally, love at first sight existed this was it. My heart raced rapidly. Palms went through a cycle of clammy to sweaty. I had laser focus as I watched unblinking, without movement. No man or woman could pry my attention away. I was transfixed on my love’s beauty. Even when this first experience came to an end, which lasted approximately 3 hours, the feeling – the love – did not expire.
January 28, 1990 will forever be the date embedded on my heart. The San Francisco 49ers faced off Denver Broncos in New Orleans, Louisiana for Super Bowl XXIV. Final score: 49ers 55 Broncos: 10. A magnificent display of competitive fortitude and athleticism.
I declared from that day, I am and will play this game.
Years went by
In 1990, I was 11 years old and weighed close to 175 lbs. Needless to say, I was at the mercy of being overweight. By pop warner standards, I couldn’t weigh more than 135 lbs. So, years went by before I suited up. Yet, that didn’t prohibit my efforts to gain a general knowledge of the sport – my first love. You see, during the winter weekends in New York,neighborhood friends and I ventured off to Soundview Park in The Bronx and engaged in hours of tackle football.
No line markings.
It was just a couple of pubescent kids and a football.
Mount Saint Michael’s
Summer of ’92, I finally saw my dreams realistically come true. Not only did I make the team, but, I started as a defensive lineman and did so for the remainder of my high school tenure.
It was during the ’92 – ’95 season, I grew a partiality towards working out and eating right.
A Mountaineer Again
After graduating high school, I left my mother’s home and jourpneyed west.
West Virginia University campus represented my thoughts and desires for college life. A student body of approximately 23,000 it had a plethora of nationalities and diversity. But, what I enjoyed the most was the rigorous hours spent at Milan Puskar stadium.
Tires, Sprints, and Weights, Oh My!
Need I say more. Total body transformation. I stepped on campus an Average Joe and walked on the football team as an Average Joe. However, in 3 years time I was the best Average Joe walking around campus, under supervision strength conditioning coach guru, Allan Johnson, now at Univ. of Northwestern.
Coach Johnson not only impacted my life, more so, modeled how to ensure athletes were in top shape, through an assortment of workout regimens. These regimens consisted, but not limited to, hurdles, agility ladders, jump ropes, weight training, circuit training, interval training, resistance training, and more.
It looked something like this:
Years later, I found myself wanting to continue my football career, however, the reality that only the most prosperous and elite players (with a smidgen of political push) obtain attraction from the greatest level of football, I was lost.
Or was I?
The new year began, 2001, and I had two options. 1. Play for Coach Perez and Ohio Valley Greyhounds in the Indoor Football League (IFL) or 2. Play for Coach Rodriguez and Roanoke Steam in the Arena Football 2 (AF2). I chose the latter.
Only God knows what would have become of me if I went with option one. I’ll say this after 9 years of playing Arena Football I have no regrets.
With my football days happily behind me, I’m fastened on my next quest.
To transform my body, mind, and spirit.
Here’s to being All Out in 2012