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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

Proud to be a man of purple

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Growing up with separated parents has always had its ups and downs. People always would ask me: “How’s your family? How’s your mom?” To them it’s a simple normal question, but for me, it’s a whole smoke screen of lies. 

I try to say, “Yeah everything is great; life is good.” It is one of the most common lies I tell people. Being happy is hard when you don’t have someone to say “I love you” or “I’m proud”. 

There truly has been one time in my life where someone told me they were proud of me for what I did and accomplished. You would expect me to say my mother or father said they were so proud of me when I received a good grade or accomplished something for myself. However, the first time someone said they were proud of me was my sophomore year of high school playing rugby. 

We had five games that day against some of the hardest teams in the whole tournament. My coach told me I was going to be starting and playing for almost all of the games, so I did what my coach told me, and I led with an iron fist. I played four and a half games back to back. This was the most games I had ever played in one day before, too. 

Even though it was hard and I was so tired, I found the strength in myself to pull myself back up and continue to fight. I ran and tackled. I played my heart out and laid down on the field that day. I did everything my coach asked and helped my teammates take the victory. I was kicked in the face three times, had a bloody nose each time and even had blood gushing out of my left leg and right arm; it was a battle like no other. 

My coach kept telling me I was playing so well and that I was one fire; this made me get right back up and out there. This was the last game we played, and I knew I could score. I told the boys to get ready, we’re going for it, and we did. 

I passed the ball, split through the first wall, stiff armed a kid and scored a try to get us above the other team’s score. This was where I laid dying for air, trying to put myself together as I sat against the goal post. My eyes and face were so swollen that I could barely see and my head was just in  a million places. I sat there and tried to breathe. I then felt a hand smack me on the shoulder, as I looked up at coach’s face smiling ear to ear. He said, and I will forever remember this: “You did good kid; you did amazing kid. You gave it your all, you laid it all out on the field today, and for that I’m so proud of you.” 

You cannot imagine how that made me feel sitting there all beat to a pulp trying to get my head all back together. Those were the most important words anyone has ever told me, especially coming from coach; there are few people in this world who have impacted me like him. My own father couldn’t even tell me something like that, which stinks, but I’ve found the strength to understand I don’t need his approval. I know I’m doing the right thing, and that’s all that matters. 

To this day, whether it’s on the field or everyday life, I play my heart out for my coach and my true family. I do all I can to take care of the people around me, especially my family. 

I went through a lot growing up, so trying to help other people just feels like the right thing to do. I would never wish the feeling I have had in the past on my worst enemy. We must come to help out those who need that little pat on the shoulder and tell them “you did good today” and “be proud of yourself because I am”. 

You have to believe in yourself; however, that is hard when you have no one to back you up, trust me I know from experience. You have to have that drive that wants you to make it to the finish line. If not you’ll crash and burn just like the rest who gave up on themselves. If I can start a movement to help people who are in situations like mine, it would be a dream and a prayer come true.

 

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