Determine Your Tomorrow
I think the famous quote by Jerry Rice goes something like, “do today what others won’t so that tomorrow you can do what others can’t”. In a town nobody cares to remember, with a population of next-to-nothing, Matt Paradis grew up playing 8-man football. Those facts alone, I would say he started at a bit of a disadvantage.
In 2008, Matt graduated high school with aspirations to continue his athletic career at Boise State University. But as one might assume coming from such a tiny team, Matt did not receive any scholarships or even an invite to check out the Boise State Football facility. Apparently he was all but laughed away when he attempted to walk on with the team.
It was certainly not because Boise State could not use him. The problem was that enough time simply did not exist for Matt to learn 11-man football at a level enabling him to play at the collegiate level. Every attempt was made to get Matt to quit, to walk away. The word “grit” may be the only way to define how Matt Paradis stuck out this situation. Grit is defined as courage, resolve or strength of character. It is a relentless pursuit and will to be the best.
Two years as a Red-Shirt and three seasons as Boise State’s Starting Center, Matt received several prestigious awards before the end of the 2014 season. With several injuries that would undeniably retire anyone from football, Matt’s dreams proved much larger.
Invited to participate in the 2014 NFL Combine as well as Boise State’s pro day, Matt finished in the middle of the pack. Again, something that would make everyone else question their own ability. Then in the 6thround of the NFL Draft, Matt was picked up by the Denver Broncos. The fact that Matt never quit still blows my mind to this day.
However, after a short training camp, Matt was dropped to Training Squad then again to Reserve. It would not be until the following year that Matt would get another shot at earning his place on the roster. In 2015, Matt started as the Center for the Denver Broncos. That year, the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl. Matt was ranked as the Best Center in the NFL and earned the largest performance-based bonus of any player in the NFL for 2015. Matt is still the Starting Center for the Denver Broncos to this day.
Breaking it Down…
It’s true none of us are competing for a spot on the football roster, although, stories about struggle and sacrifice always seem to hit home. Especially when the story is true. The question is, why does one goal have to outweigh another?
It is said that making it to the gym is the hardest part. But if that were true, you should have just stayed in bed. Sleep is much more important than a mediocre attempt at reaching for your goals. What if it means more than just simply exercising? Reaching for your goals means you, and only you, must make the decision to train.
Training means showing up, even when you don’t want to. It means showing up, even when the programmed training session is the last thing you want to do.
I often wonder how Matt made it through all those grueling practices and training sessions knowing that he probably wouldn’t get to play any time soon. Was it that he loved the game or was it because he fell in love with the process? (The process that made him the Most Valuable Center in the NFL.)
In the end, he found that the result was worth the process. Unfortunately, many of us fail to value the result enough to fall in love with the process. Many of us avoid the process because it means hitting the time cap after you chose to work through full range of motion rather than just getting through it. It means slowing down to do it right and possibly getting last place because of it. It means listening to the person you hired to get you the result, your coach. J.P. Auclair said, “If the process is what you love most, every expedition is successful whether you get to the top or not”.
What you do today, determines your result tomorrow.
Photo Credit: USA TODAY