In recent years, I have struggled to get up in the morning, feeling semi-purposeless with little direction. Now, i find myself at dinner, thinking about getting back to work early the next day…one trail at a time.
Incorporating my personality into it all has been an interesting part. You see, i sort of missed my calling as a thespian. My life took a turn when i decided to play football instead of following my heart, which pulled me towards running and theatre. I did not have the parenting that equipped me with the tools to find the true man within. It was a free-for-all, directionless survival. For most young people, the most powerful influence is whatever breeds expectance, being cool, having friends, people liking you. There are a select few who seem to have a preprogrammed nature that compels them to rise above all that nonsense, but I was not one of those. Never have been. Whatever i do, i need to work very hard for and, without direction as a young man, i just followed the current.
As i turned the corner on the road to manhood, in my middle school years, i started fighting at school and with my younger brother. Early in life, my father had shown me that anger and violence were the way to solve problems and i followed suit. When football came into my life, that all ended abruptly. I gave it my heart, winning Most Dedicated every season. I took pride in my role as a special teams head hunter and third down specialist. My one claim to fame occurred when Michael Pittman, our star running back who ended up playing the game of his life in Super Bowl XXXVII, came up to me after practice one day and said, “I’m kinda afraid of you, McGhee.”
Football was good for me. It gave me an outlet for my aggression, but i was injured a lot and i rode the bench my junior and senior years on varsity, despite having the most sacks on the team (I had to throw that in there). My body was just not built for it, a lanky stride and slow feet obvious evidence that my aspirations of playing college football were far fetched and high school was the end of the road for this sport in my life.