Short Time, Huge Impact (II)

February 12, 2010

(Again, this is my brief weekly article in the ‘New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung.’  Enjoy!)

Last week, I began doing a brief series about cameos that have had a huge impact on my life.  My first article described a negative “mini-experience.”  This week’s example starts negatively, but has a very positive outcome.  Again, my hope is that you will see that the significance of a happening in life is not in proportion to the time involved.

The next rapid-fire, but burnt-into-my-heart, occurrence happened when I was 14, in my freshman year in high school.  I left study hall a couple of minutes later than usual and was hurrying to the football field house, which was a block off campus, to dress out for another dreary day of spring football.  To save time, I cut through a neighbor’s backyard—my family just lived three houses away—which brought me around the back side of the field house.

As I came down the side wall of the field house, I heard two coaches talking.  One, Coach Russell, said to the other, “I don’t know what to do with that Luter kid.  He can’t walk and chew bubble gum at the same time.”

In those few seconds, I was shattered!  Yes, it was true that, after a huge growth spurt, my coordination had not caught up with my body.  But, the strange thing was that, the fall before, I had almost lettered as a ninth grader by playing my heart out on special teams.

So, what happened then?  I bit my lip, took a deep breath and went to practice.  With deeper determination, I started the next three seasons, making all-conference as a senior and receiving a full scholarship to play college football (half-academic, half-athletic), where I became a starter (though my college career was cut short by injury).  That coach’s flippant words had provided me the motivation to work that much harder.

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