Finding Inspiration In The Most Unlikely Place and Person; The Football field and Lamar Jackson
I’m a "entrepreneur" I guess you could say. I hate being labeled but that is just what it is. I'm always fighting back against labels and being pigeon holed and stereotyped.
So, when I hear all the stories of entrepreneurs and the loneliness, the struggle, and the fight needed to get to the next level. I can say for sure, It’s real.
As I find myself writing more and focusing on inspiration and motivation dealing with rheumatoid arthritis and supplementing a healthy lifestyle with Hemp.
I found this story of how I found inspiration and motivation and where I found it intriguing.
I believe it's healthy to search for motivation, to seek out inspiration and I found it in the most unlikely person and I thought I would share.
Entrepreneurs, small business owners, especially those that are in it to help face a challenging road. It’s tough, it’s gosh damn tough to stay afloat, to stay motivated.
I’ve been at it for over 2 years now. I have helped a lot of people and we have created a great resource for folks navigating the CBD space and have gotten a ton of compliments and positive feedback. The tools we have coming down the line to help people with Rheumatoid Arthritis like me is incredible.
But how do you stay motivated to keep working 24/7, how do you stay inspired when you're having a tough time keeping the lights on?
Seriously, it's Super Bowl Sunday, and right now, I will spend my day reaching out to folks, trying to figure out a ad campaign that wont get shut down, trying to get a couple sales to cover the next few days. If some things don’t go my way, it will get very ugly in my world, it's enough to drive you to quitting, to giving up, to doing something else.
How do you keep your wits about you when your down this low, but, you know what your doing is important and you love it? How do you not throw in the towel and say screw it, I’m getting a job with a paycheck.
I’m not writing this as a woe is me type of thing, nor do I want people to feel sorry for me. I know what I was getting into and like I said, I love what I am doing and I know the future is bright.
The reason I am writing this is because I found my inspiration, my motivation to keep going in such a weird place.
I thought it would be cool to share it.
Really if you look hard enough you can find the inspiration to keep fighting in some really crazy places.
I'm also sharing as a testament to the quality of the individual that inspires me to keep plugging away, motivates me not quit, to keep doing what I love no matter how hard, no matter what others are saying.
I started writing this a few weeks ago, and today seemed like a good day to share.
I found my inspiration in a place I lock up and don’t discuss in very positive manner.
I found it on the football field and a fellow Louisville Cardinal football alumni, Lamar Jackson, NFL MVP and Quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens.
I needed and have have a constant need of inspiration from others and I find it often in friends, in nature, in people that are making a difference, I know the sacrifice and work ethic needed to be a professional athlete and I admire that. Most just do not do it for me when looking for inspiration.
I just never expected to find it on the football field or with a 20 something year old quarterback in the NFL.
Shit, I honestly have not watched a football game in way over 10 years. I have honestly not even seen a full game Lamar Jackson has quarterbacked. Highlights, yes, reading about it, yes. I have followed from afar because I have always loved his story.
So ya, it's crazy and for it to make sense and to tie it into what I do now in my business I must take you back to my playing days, under one of the hardest, both physically and mentally coaches to ever coach the game.
We’re talking four-hour practices in the morning and in the evening with one water break. That’s right two full hours of busting your butt as hard as you can with no water, then 15 minute break for water, and back to another 2 hour practice.
Constant mental “motivation”, and contact drills all day. It made you tough, that’s for sure, and it won football games.
The quotes still ring in my ears from that time. “Hampton, quit faking it, you’re not hurt.”, “Hampton, I’ve tried but I’ve never killed a player, I’m going to run you and see if you can be my first.” “Hampton, you’re lazy, you’re a faker, you don’t care, you suck, etc, etc, etc.”
I don’t look back on it or talk or think about it to much negatively. I loved the game, it's how coaches back then coached.
I even coached High School football for 4 years after. Pretty much doing everything the opposite of how I was coached in college and we won, so I proved my point.
I do look back on it with a bad taste in my mouth, especially now as I fight rheumatoid arthritis and help others fight.
Just because how do you go from dressing and almost losing your red-shirt and playing your true freshman year on arguably one of the best teams in the school’s history. Coach literally pulled me to the side before the Fiesta Bowl and said, "If someone try's to put you in, come see me first." Because if I played in that game I would only have 4 years on the team, not 5.
Then to my sophomore year being the guy labeled lazy, always hurt, faking it, not caring, slow, shouldn’t be here, literally, overnight.
It’s because I had a disease no one knew about, that can’t be seen from the outside. Always swollen, always throbbing, always aching. I was dealing with rheumatoid arthritis and trying to play Division 1 college football and all the Doctors and Trainers could tell me was that I wasn't taking care of myself and I should stop playing Volleyball because that's what was swelling up my knees for no reason. Let's drain it, let's shoot it up. They even cut a rheumatoid nodule off the bottom of my foot, not knowing what it was. Obviously, no body, even myself thought there could be an underlying medical condition. Growing up, right up until my diagnosis, I truly believed everyone got out of bed in the morning and were stiff and aching.
So just watching a game brings up a lot of those locked away feelings, so I just stay away.
Now here I am 30 years later running my business, struggling, fighting, trying to get to the next level and finding inspiration in a 20 something year old quarterback.
The kid is special.
How can you not look up to him, how can you not find inspiration, motivation in the way this kid does it.
The way he works, handles himself and fights. I love his fight, and his work ethic.
He wanted to play quarterback, but he didn’t just say it, he worked his tail off to play quarterback. Even his high school coach talks about how he worked on his accuracy and devoured film.
We all know the story of how he came to Louisville because he was promised the quarterback position. He stuck to his goal, never wavered.
Then the draft, this picture is the screensaver on my computer. I remember the talk about how he should switch positions and hoping he stuck to his guns. The fifth quarterback taken.
Now the kid is MVP of the league.
I search for inspiration and motivation always and lately it has been hard.
Finding it in a kid from Florida I have absolutely nothing in common with, playing a game I have pretty much abandoned, I have to admit, it makes me smile.
It makes me smile we both went to my favorite school, The University of Louisville. It makes me smile we walked the same campus, sat in the same desks and played football for the same team.
So when times are tough, when I'm struggling I have someone else to look up to and it's a 23 year old kid, and he's amazing.
One thing for sure is next football season, I will be doing something I haven't done in a long long time. Hell, I may even watch the game today.
Next season I will be watching and being inspired by Lamar Jackson, NFL MVP and Quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens.
Cheers to you man, way to stick to your dreams, way to prove everyone wrong, way to go against the grain. You inspire many and there is a close to 50 year old "hippy" in Colorado that will be cheering you on forever.