Day 39 - Train Up A Child

Life is supposed to be tough.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” -Proverbs 22:6

"Stand up men! Those SEC guys are going to crush us again," exclaimed our college strength coach during our early morning workouts. As we ran our Monday sprints, exhaustion and perspiration overwhelmed the team. Young men were slight footed and vomiting, struggling to stay upright. It was the first week of summer training, and our fitness coach aimed to strike an emotional chord. The previous year, we were dominated by the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens. The narrative of the SEC's physical dominance versus the finesse style of our Big 12 conference was proven true as they outperformed us.

This year, my school, Oklahoma State, was gaining national recognition, presenting new opportunities. We had more televised games and contests against teams from other conferences. It was a massive opportunity for us. However, it seemed like the stage might have been too big. Remembering the beating we took from Georgia the year before, I yearned for a rematch. Even better, their defensive line was being hailed as one of the best in the country. That year we had a new recruiting class, a group of junior college transfers, and talented freshmen joining the team.

Later that night, my roommates and a few teammates gathered to discuss the challenge of our offseason workouts. "There are three workout groups for us: 6 AM, 1 PM, and 3 PM," I informed them. Most of them scoffed at the idea of the scorching afternoon session. It was too hot for their liking. But I had a different plan in mind. If I wanted to elevate my game and reach the next level, I knew I had to embrace challenges. I needed to make adversity my ally.

The next day, while others attended the morning session, I waited for the brutal 1 PM workout. Enduring the scorching heat and attending classes in between, I faced skepticism and laughter from those who completed their earlier session. Doubt started creeping into my mind. Was I fooling myself? Yet a small group, consisting of misfits who missed the first session and a few junior college transfers, showed up for the 1 PM workout. The temperature reached 100 degrees, and my Nike cleats were already melting.

Adversity welcomed me with open arms. With a deep breath, I embraced it.

Months later, I delivered one of the best performances of my college career in the rematch against Georgia to kick off the season. The conditions were perfect, just like the 1PM sessions. NFL teams later referenced the film from that game when scouting me. The praise seemed endless.

This fast has been the same. I've learned to love embracing challenges, even becoming somewhat obsessed with them. They push me to my limits and reveal my true capabilities. Throughout this fast, there were moments when I wanted to give in. I've broken down in front of my wife and children. But every time, with their help, I pushed forward, refusing to succumb.


Is there anything you’re afraid of? Maybe an obstacle you don’t think you are capable of?


Build a strategy to overcome the question above.

Not a medical professional, my advice should not replace medical advice or treatment. Seek professional medical advice if you have specific health concerns, especially when planning to fast. Any fasting advice I provide is general and should be followed alongside personal health guidelines and consultation with a healthcare provider.

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