Watching people give everything they have to achieve their dreams is the most amazing thing. To have that kind of drive to commit every day and every moment to one goal, to have the talent to make it possible and the vision to know what you desire is rare. Most of the time these stories and accomplishments are just witnessed by me through television or articles and a lot of the time, from YouTube clips.
Last year though, I met the most inspiring man I will probably ever come across. I continue to look up to him for his dedication and his consistently positive attitude. After not seeing him for a few months, I was finally able to visit him at a swim meet.
We met by chance at school through some mutual friends. His football career was cut short by an unfortunate injury and left him with much free time to reevaluate his life, which he was no longer content with. He was a born athlete, good at pretty much every sport and loved to stay active. Since his knee was the spot of his injury he wasn’t left much hope for playing sports at a college level any longer so he kept in shape by swimming laps at the pool.
I often joked with him about the rigorous routine he put himself through, by choice, as we sat and watched multiple movies together, since I craved the life of relaxation outside of season. The more I learned about his love for superhero movies and Batman, the more realistic his dream of swimming at the Olympics seemed to me. For now, he is currently working to continue to improve his times and swim for a college.
Granted he had only began swimming a few weeks prior, but the way he talked, it all seemed so real and possible. He changed my outlook on every challenge and task I came across. For awhile anything seemed possible and the future seemed so full of opportunities and wonderful experiences. Having that attitude last spring is the reason I believe that we all can make our own happiness, because that was the happiest I have ever been.
He left school to go back home, join a team and pursue his dreams. I was the last one to say good bye to him and we both teared up a little, one of us a little more than the other. We talked about all of the fun times we had in such a short period of time of knowing each other, and I told him to never give up and he told me to never change. Little did he know, he has changed me.
I stayed back at school, went home for the summer and worked at a movie theater, just waiting to return to my regular college routine. Unfortunately, I have since then forgot what he had told me over the last few months. It’s the end of the semester and I don’t know if its the pressure of upcoming finals, or boredom of being stuck in my room for so long, but I regret wasting so much time sitting on my bed in between classes and dinners. After soccer ended, I find myself getting caught up in some drama and lying around watching TV too much when I could be doing things that actually matter, activities that I’m passionate about.
Seeing him again has reminded me to stay motivated and actively pursuing dreams, even the smallest ones. Which is exactly what I’ve been needed. I really need to work on not letting myself lose this attitude a second time.
It might have been a few years since I’ve watched this movie and the clip might be a little cheesy, but I love it and Hillary Duff.