A few nights ago, I sat in bed working on my laptop while Andy and Riley slept soundly next to me. That night, “working” meant catching up on a bunch of reading I had been putting off, including this 2-part personal essay by wide receiver Andrew Hawkins. (Formerly with the Cincinnati Bengals, currently with the Cleveland Browns.)
You guys, this essay wrecked me. I sat there in the dark, tears streaming down my face, sympathizing with every struggle, every doubt, every hope in Andrew Hawkins’s words. Because I have felt those exact same things on my writing journey. I still feel them. I’m still striving.
In spite of his talent and his drive, Andrew Hawkins was too short. Too small. He had to find unique opportunities for himself — or make them. He caught a couple good breaks, but a lot of bad ones too. Two steps forward, one step back. For years. But he didn’t quit. He had faith and patience. Perseverance. Passion. Now he’s finally where he wants to be, and it means everything to him.
It means a lot to me too, to read about it, because his story basically asks, Have you done absolutely everything you can to reach your dreams? I want my answer always and forever to be yes.
— Kristan Hoffman (@kristanhoffman) March 7, 2015
What would you do if someone told you couldn’t have the life you wanted? What lengths would you go to to prove people wrong and live your dream?
It was creeping up on the fall of 2011, almost four years since I stood on that scale at 161 pounds and told myself I could make a run at the NFL, and I was back to square one without an NFL contract. I didn’t even last one day in the league. And during my pursuit of that dream, life started happening around me. My girlfriend was pregnant. Now, with a baby boy on the way, it wasn’t just about me.
I still cry before every game. I wish I could put those feelings into words, but I can’t. As the tears run down my face, I think of everywhere I’ve been, everything I’ve overcome and everything God has brought me through. Now, I’m able to provide for my son in a way I never thought I could. Despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles, despite the impossible odds, I achieved my dream.