I was digging through my old hard drive and found some workout footage from 2008. I didn’t even realize that I had it, but I am very grateful that I did. This footage brought back memories for many reasons. First off this was the offseason after I became the full time starter and made many fantasy football fans a bunch of money. I didn’t even know what fantasy football was at the time. I just remember being at the Super Bowl in Arizona and feeling like a rock star because people from all over the country acted as if I was there Hero. I didn’t pay for a single thing all week!
Another reason is because it shows me grinding after having success. I was big about customizing my workouts. Cory Thomas, a childhood friend of mine who looks eerily close to Kobe Bryant, was my trainer during those years. We use to scour the city of Tampa for places to train. We didn’t really like gyms, it was just our philosophy to get out into the elements and get after it. So, we found this secluded area with a dirt hill and a couple of barn looking structures way off the beaten path. Even though I had some success, it did not stop the bucs from seeking upgrades. I was truly the guy that they thought they could replace every single year in football camp. There was always someone bigger and faster who came through the doors and I absolutely loved it. It drove me to work my tail off. All I heard all offseason was how slow I was and that I hadn’t had a run over 28 yards in 2007. What they didn’t know was that my ankle had been damaged since week 4. Jon Gruden use to give me that infamous “Chucky” scowl all week wondering if I was going to dress and I never wanted to let him down or miss my opportunity. I did any and every thing I could do to take the field on Sunday. A popular saying during that time was “Get it How U Live” by the Hot Boyz and I was truly doing that. I was also holding out for a new contract at the time. The nerve of me and my 4.6 forty holding out for a contract!!…LOL. Thank God that I successfully got a contract extension, but even more importantly I earned it. Through the first 5 weeks I was leading the league in 40+ yard runs and yards per carry ahead of a guy named Adrian Peterson. During Game 6 I would willingly take over as the starting Fullback for 5 weeks, but I will speak on that later because I want to get to this 3rd point.
Training with me in this clip is Thaddeus Bullard, but you might know him as Titus Oneill who now wrestles in the WWE. He was out there grinding as well as he was playing Arena football. Thad had no clue that he would go on to wrestle in the WWE, but what he did have is the one thing that mattered. Faith. Which inspired his incredible WORK ETHIC. He was working his butt off for his next opportunity and it kept opening doors because he was willing to take the talent that he had and make the most of it. This is why I posed the question. Are you a Tortoise or the Hare? This world that we live in is comprised mostly of Tortoises, that continually take forward steps in belief that they will achieve something significant. They also know that it is not only about believing but the follow through. When you have a gift you have a God-Given responsibility. When you don’t hold that gift as sacred, YOU become a liability, causing the ego to surface above the gift.
Many people look over the Tortoise because there is nothing threatening about the tortoises pace to the naked eye. Their is not much flash to it, but when it finishes with integrity it illuminates its path. Carrying nothing but it’s own expectations, the tortoise travels without anxiety because when it has been communicated that is a race no one bets on the Tortoise. It’s assumption is not that it is faster, but that it can endure, giving it its chance. Believe it or not a small step every day can create an inspiring life. As 2016 kicks off and we’ve made our New Year’s Resolutions are you engaging them as the Tortoise or the Hare?
I am Earnest. I am a slow-walking, steady-paced, eyes on the prize havin’, too focused to entertain the doubters minded, christ-centered Tortoise and I truly cherish the gifts that God has given me. God Bless!