This is a guest post by Atlanta’s Jacob Austin.
Thanks for sharing Jacob….& congratulations.
Everyone always talks about the inspiration athletes can bring, pointing to guys like Jason McElwain, the autistic team manager that scored 20 points for his high school basketball team on their senior night.
Soon enough, they may say the same sort of things about the USMNT’s heart-on-sleeve wearing striker, Charlie Davies.
I already am.
A couple of years ago, during a routine checkup, a doctor told me that I needed to either get fit, or run the risk of diabetes.
I was 20 years old, 5 feet, 10 inches tall, and weighing in at 230 pounds. I did nothing about it, went on living my life, playing the random game of pickup basketball or soccer, and eating when I wasn’t. I grew to love soccer, and became passionate about it quickly. That passion led me to Washington, DC to see the Yanks play Costa Rica in their final World Cup Qualifier. As my brother and I turned off I-395, onto 14th street, and into traffic, I saw the news about “The Accident” on my mobile.
I was in the crowd at RFK, holding up my #9 sheet, and saw the inspiration the players found late in the game that night. How the two could have possibly coincided never really occurred to me.
This Christmas, I was looking at the pictures from my family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas activities, and decided it was time to take the doctor’s words to heart. I was going to get fit. I started by running a little bit on the treadmill each day, and trying to eat less. It worked, and the pounds started dropping.
After being at it for a little while, the notion of “just needing to get healthy” started to wear off in it’s effectiveness of driving me to the treadmill each day. As I was scratching and hurting my way through the end of a long run to nowhere (how I was starting to look at that blasted machine), my iPhone chose to shuffle to Weezer’s “Represent”, the unofficial World Cup anthem about never giving up, no matter how hard it is, how much it hurts, or futile it feels.
That’s when it registered with me: If Charlie Davies could get back to playing shape after the damage done to his highly tuned body, what excuse did I dare come up with not be able to just skinny myself up a bit?
The man known as CD9 has a foot-long scar down his stomach from a surgery to repair an organ.
Me? I just had a giant stomach.