This is the true story of a young man with determination. Since he was three he had had a fascination with all things soccer. He played as many hours a day as he could to the point that I suspect by the time he was 12, he had met his 10,000 hours. The passion carried him right the way into a university soccer program in Europe when he was 18. Within his first year there he was spotted and offered a chance to try out for a professional team. The try out was to take place in 48 hours and getting there involved air travel. Arrangements were made and in the midst of freezing, horizontal winter rain in northern Europe, he set out on the bus to the airport. About 5 miles from the airport all traffic on the freeway suddenly came to a dead halt. There’d been a fatality on the road ahead and no one was going to be able to move for the foreseeable future.
This lad grabbed his bag, asked to be let out of the bus and started running through the now parked cars on the freeway in the direction of the airport. Up ahead was an overpass and as far as he could tell, scaling the nearby muddy berm would position him well enough to climb onto the overpass. Once there, he’d likely be able to flag a cab or reach out to an uber. Up the muddy berm he went only to discover a heretofore out of sight barbed wire barrier. Soccer isn’t dependent on his hands he thought so he tossed his bag over the barbed wire, climbed over it himself and scurried, now wet, muddy and with shredded palms, onto the overpass. From there he spotted a lone taxi just pulling up to a gas station. He flagged it down…when asked by the driver if he was Jared, the young man who is not named Jared, said “Yes” and hopped in with instructions to “Floor it”, to the airport. As they were peeling out of the gas station he saw a man, undoubtedly Jared, flailing his arms in useless pursuit.
He made it to the airport, bolted through security and made it to the gate only to be told that the door had just been closed. He explained that he HAD to get on the plane as he had a try out for a team whose nationality most fortunately was the same as the airline’s. Quick word was had with the pilot, the door re-opened and the athlete was ushered onto the plane. He made it to his destination. Acquitted himself well in the try out and landed a spot on the team. Now that’s determination.
I’ll tell you one more story about this young man. He was visiting his mom in another big city, another freezing rain, winter day. As was his habit, he donned his rainproof winter coat, and set out for his daily training run. An hour later he got back soaked to the bone and shivering. “What happened to your coat?? Where’s your coat??” his Mother said in not particularly dulcet tones. Her son answered, “I gave it to a homeless guy.”
That young man is my son. Today is his 24th birthday and I am one proud Mom. Thanks for indulging me.