Anyone who knows my mother knows she is not one to mess with. I did not stop being scared of her until I was a junior in college. She taught me some basic lessons about taking charge that I was able to make with me through life. The way I see life is anything that can help me as a person can just as quickly help me as an athlete and vice versa. These lessons will help you live a balanced and prosperous life.
1. Don’t Be a Dummy With Money
Lesson number one from my mom was not to be too quick to spend the cheddar on dumb things. This one was huge for me growing up because I saw how far my mom could make a dollar go. She clipped coupons and was a fantastic spender, and because of that, I was able to get protein shakes to drink after practice, and always had a decent pair of running shoes.
The comedian Kevin Hart made a joke about how he does not mess with athlete friends because they spend too much money, which in turn makes him spend too much money. I have been around athletes my whole life and athletes by far can be some of the dumbest human beings when it comes to what they do with their money. Like most athletes have already bought a house and four cars in their minds before they ever even make a dollar.
The essential life skill of saving money and not living for wants can go a long way, and it builds character to be able to hold off from doing something just because you feel like it. I learned it made you look like more of a BOSS to not drop every penny you own on things you don’t need. Put your hard earned money into words that will help you be fruitful in the future.
2. Do You and I’ll Do Me
Growing up, I make no joke when I say we rarely had people over. I found it so weird; all my other friends seemed like they always had a guest at their house. Everyone else still had someone over, but in my house, it was just the quiet family of four. My parents are both single children, so I don’t have any real aunts or uncles.
As I got older, I understood why my mom was not a big on the “I want the whole world in my house in my business type of person.” The most important thing she taught me was that she knew how to stay in her lane.
She did not look at what other families were doing and try and one up them. She did not care, she did what she wanted in her way and rolled with it.
This is a critical concept in being a BOSS. You can’t be a balling athlete if you are always looking to your left and right to see what everyone is doing. If others want to do something you’re not feeling up to, learn to blaze your trail.
3. Where I Was Has Nothing to Do With Where I Will Be
My mom told me there were days where she never had food to eat, and all her money went to feeding my brother and I. That was where she was, but that is not where she stayed. That mindset changed her life.
Here is the thing, you may be injured, or have had the worst season of your life, but that in no way means that is the fate of the rest of your career. You must see that the past and the future can be two very different things if you let them. You have to use the dark history to make a bright future.
4. Being a Class Act Comes First
For my brother and I, being polite boys was not something we could choose to do. It was mandatory; she did not care how many touchdowns we were scoring or how fast we were. What mattered to her is that we were always level-headed about it.
If you think of yourself as a human being first and an athlete second like everyone should this should be no problem for people. Remember the necessary things that your parents tried to teach you when you were young and didn’t forget them when you are in the limelight because I promise you; it will not be forever.
I remember being at football games and seeing my mom getting into it with my coach, coaches on the other teams, parents it did not matter. If you had a problem with her family, my mom was down for a fight. She was not scared, and she taught me to be fearless of other humans.
The lesson carried over well to being an athlete because you can’t step in the field of battle scared of your competition. It just will not work out well in your favor.
Always remind yourself that no matter how good the people you are facing are they put their pants on one leg at a time just like you. They cry, they hurt; they make mistakes just like you. Once you remind yourself of that, you better understand that there is no reason to fear anyone.
Growing up it was great knowing that my mom always had my back. I got into a lot of trouble in elementary school; but when all the teachers tried to gang up on me and bring me down, my mom was “that mother” that no one wanted to deal with because she always stuck up for her son. She knew I was wrong sometimes, but she still stuck up for me in public and then sold with me at home.
In life, you have to always stand up for what you believe in. Stand up for the things and people you love. You must protect them at all costs. That goes to show a lot more about your character than any victory ever could.
My Mom has helped me a lot in many ways that have made me the athlete I am today, but even more importantly, she has helped me become a better person. Do not forget where you come from and what lessons you were taught growing up. Use them to excel both all areas of your life.