Many years ago I was a two-time state champion wrestler and a two-time Junior Olympian wrestler. In addition, I coached wrestling for 14-years; in which two of those years I also coached the Junior Olympic wrestling team. During all those years as an athlete, and then a coach, I learned how important it was to stay off of your back in the sport of wrestling. However, an even more important lesson I learned was that if you did unfortunately find yourself on your back, then it was even more important to get up off of your back.
Now, all these years later as an adult I am surrounded by our youth as an inner city school teacher and father of five children. Through my past and present experiences, as well as constantly observing our youth, I have learned this hard-fought and hard-earned lesson: Getting back up off of your back is one of the most important things that we can do if we want to survive, and then hopefully thrive in this lifetime. We can’t let life keep us down.
When we find ourselves down and out, flat on our back, the most important thing we can do is to ignore all the doubters and naysayers. Furthermore, it is especially important to ignore our own internal dialogue of doubt. Just dig deep and find the courage that you did not know you had. Get up off of your back right now. This is something that we must do. Later, after we have gotten up off of our backs, we can then rally and slowly chip away at the world’s lead on us. Do this, and continue to persevere through this battle and you too will eventually find your arm raised in victory.
Now teens, go learn, lead, and lay the way to a better world for all of us. Remember that the key to winning in life is to get back up off of your back when you find yourself down. And once again, thanks in advance for all that you do, and all that you will do…