Push to the End

I have been playing football since I was little. My mama got me into playing football. Now that I think of it, football changed my life. I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have football. Football turned me into who I am now. Going into high school, I made Varsity as a runner-back because that was the position I usually played. I made a lot of friends and I was popular. There wasn’t much to complain about. My dad wasn’t around for much of my life, so it was only me and my mama. Let me tell you about my mama -- she is a hard working lady, but even though she was busy she ain’t never miss one of my football games. She always supported me no matter what.

My team was down by 5 points and all we need was a touchdown. We only had 1 minute left in the game and we were on ‘Offense.’ Quarterback said he was going to throw it deep to anyone who was open. I told him “Quit, that bullshit, man, let me run it, I got this- just block.” He said “Okay.”  As I heard the ‘HIKE!’ I ran toward him and got the ball, I followed my teammates then ran off. I broke two tackles-got hit badly-but I caught my balance and then did my signature spin move to the left and ran to the endzone. While I was running to the goal, I felt like I was slowing down but I pushed through. After getting the touchdown, my chest was hurting and my lungs felt like they were about to collapse. I couldn't breathe. I pushed through the pain because I knew I was better than that. But man it felt good to win. Everyone cheered. That had to be my best game in the whole season. Coach told me that there were scouters in the stands watching me play and they said I had some talent. Coach said to me personally after the game, “You got some talent kid. You might be able to play pro-football.”

Yo, that was the best news I ever heard, man. I walked to the locker room to go shower and messed with some of the guys, making some jokes with them. I got to my locker and I fainted.

I woke up in a hospital room and then my mama came into the room screaming and kissing me. I told her, “Chill out ma, I’m fine.” The doctor came into the room and I asked him “What happen to me, Doc?”  He told me when I got hit the impact was really hard on my head and I got a really bad concussion and some brain trauma. Also he told me he found something else about me. He said I had a tumor between my heart and my lungs. I asked him if is there any way to remove it and he said no. I asked him, “Doc, can I still play in the championship game next week?” He said to me, “I wouldn't recommend it-- you could get seriously injured or die. You still can live your life. Your football career might be over.”

I turned to my mama and asked her, “Ma, what do you think I should do?” “You can have a future ahead of you or you can continue to play football. Just know that you might be giving up your life if you choose to play football.”

Do you know what it’s like to hear that your football career is over? I didn’t know what to do. Football makes me who I am. Because of the momentum-- without football, what would I be waking up for everyday? I look forward to waking up every day knowing that I will be out on that field strengthening and supporting my team. I don’t want to give up on my team just like that. I didn’t know what to do….