Prior preparation prevents poor performance
Years later, when I turned 16, my dad conducted a thorough, exhausting search for the perfect first vehicle.
I wanted something cool. He wanted something reliable. I wanted something fast. He wanted something safe.
What I got was an ‘89 Jeep Comanche.
I didn’t like the pinstripe along the side of it. He removed it. I thought it sat too low to the ground. He installed a lift kit. I thought the tires were too small. He bought brand new wheels and tires for it.
Finally, I copped out by claiming to be overwhelmed by the vehicle’s manual transmission, and he relented and bought me something else.
Nearly a decade later, he still owns the Comanche, and I would love to have it.
Only now, in a poetically just twist of irony, he won’t even sell it to me.
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth
By February of my senior year of high school, it was evident that I would have the opportunity to play football in college. I visited several smaller schools and junior colleges, but when the University of Oklahoma called, I was sold.
“If you’re going to do this, you need to get your diet right,” dad told me. “You need to put in the work, so that when you get there in July, you don’t look like a walk-on.”
Anything worth doing is worth doing right
I was feeling pretty good about myself at this point, though. OU wouldn’t be talking to me if I didn’t belong, right? Right. I scoffed at the notion of changing my diet, only choking down a protein drink when forced.
That’ll put some hair on your chest
I mostly ignored the weight room, too. Instead opting to sleep in, lie by the pool, and hang out with my friends.
When I got to Norman, I was floored. I was good enough on raw ability to keep from getting cut, but that was about it. I was outclassed and unprepared and, if injected with truth serum (and reminded of my name) I’m sure that coach Brent Venables would tell you that I was the least talented linebacker on the team. Within a year, I was temporarily out of football.