Each morning when I was a kid, I’d lace up my sneakers and hit the ground running.
My personal creed has always consisted of one goal: When I lace ‘em up in the morning, I want to be excited and passionate about what I’m doing every day.
It’s funny; I always knew it was a privilege even to have boots to lace up. It wasn’t necessarily anything someone said to me, I just had an innate awareness of how lucky I was at a young age. I had a general concept that there were other people in the world who didn’t have as much as I did, and I was genuinely appreciative of my blessings.
For example, we’d go to Mexico twice per year, and my mom would always give me some money to buy chiclets from kids on the street.
But I didn’t need any damn chiclets, and I knew it. So I’d just give all the money to the kids and let them keep their inventory. I felt how lucky I was not to be selling gum on the streets. Deeply felt it.
Whether you call it sympathy or empathy for others, I was born with it. I could look into other people’s eyes and … feel.
Feel their pain. Their sadness. Their joy. Their hurt.
I knew my mission in life was to help others. Somehow. Some way.
But it didn’t mean I wouldn’t veer from that path – intentionally or not.
Each morning when I was in high school and college, I’d lace up my cleats and hit the ground running.
I’ve been an athlete all my life, and baseball was my passion. I loved every second of it. The smell of the grass, the history of the game and the camaraderie of my teammates. It’s a special game.
I loved baseball so much, if fact, that over time my focus shifted from others to myself.
In a way, it kind of had to. The amount of work athletes put it – along with the time honing their craft – doesn’t typically allow for altruism on a daily basis (or so I thought).
I thought I was invincible. It wasn’t until I became academically ineligible to play in college that reality slapped me across the face.
What the hell are you doing? I thought. You’re 21, can’t finish college, there is no plan to continue pursuing baseball, no income and you have a kid on the way.
At that point, the only solution I could think of was joining the military.
Each morning when I was an Army Ranger, I’d lace up my boots and hit the ground running.
When I made the decision to serve, I essentially made up my mind that I was going to die in combat.
However, I was 100-percent fine with that.
Why? Well, if that happened, it would mean two things:
- That I’d no longer be a selfish prick.
- My daughter would benefit from the insurance, and I’d be a hero.
But a funny thing happened; I didn’t die.
Not on my first deployment. Or my second. Or my third.
I truly thought my purpose was gone. Once again, I knew I was meant to help others, but at this point, I was out of ideas to fulfill that drive.
I kept searching for answers. Through working as a corrections officer to joining the border patrol.
I knew I was doing something good, but I still didn’t feel it.
I was looking outside of myself to justify my existence.
Each morning when I get up to make a video, I put on my slippers and hit the ground running.
Slippers, by the way, are fucking AWESOME.
I’m incredibly fortunate to be in a position now to help others who are struggling. That’s what my mission is. Along with being a father and husband, it’s my life’s work.
Here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter what kind of fucking shoes you have or don’t have. I don’t care if it’s sneakers, cleats, boots or slippers – lace ‘em up, find your passion and stick with it.
There is no “mold” for your life; every single person is different. It’s YOUR life!
I believe fear and worry are the only enemies of mankind; don’t fear what other people think of you and certainly don’t worry about following the path everyone else took. That’s their path. Not yours.
There is nothing I’m going through that other people aren’t. Like you, I’ve had countless “rock bottoms.” I don’t have all the answers. I’m not perfect. But what I do have is an insatiable desire to do better.
Better than I was in college. Better than I was in the Army.
A better father. A better husband.
Shit, better than I was 15 minutes ago.
Ultimately, that’s all we can ask of ourselves as men and women.
You’re going fuck up; it’s bound to happen from time to time.
You’ll say the wrong thing at the absolute wrong time.
You’ll choose not to help someone you are fully capable of helping.
Just be yourself, man…
And when you lace up your boots, hit the ground running.