COLUMN: Feeling down? You’re not out

Sometimes a step backward is better than a step forward.

People are geared to think that any direction that doesn’t push them to their goal is a waste. Well, in sports, some say the best team is a team that loses a couple times because it really tests their ability to overcome adversity.

Even Muhammed Ali lost – five times to be exact. Nobody remembers him as a loser because he always had the attitude that he would overcome. He did.

Winning isn’t just about defeating the opponent; it’s also about defeating your own negativity and doubt. It’s about getting out of bed when you want to keep the blinds shut and watch Workaholics while eating a gallon of strawberry ice cream.

What’s the point?

When someone or something knocks you down, you can still float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

If you’re thinking that I don’t know what I’m talking about, well, I went to five funerals throughout last summer. It was hard on some days to be ambitious, but what you do after being knocked down determines who you are. I got up and kept working out – I lost 20 pounds from multiple three-hour workouts.

I’d gladly gain 20 pounds back if it meant bringing my friends back, but it won’t work like that. All we can do is move on and keep making the best of bleak circumstances.

Keep working hard. Grab life by the horns and wrestle it in your direction. The value of hard work and persistence reveals itself through amazing and unique opportunities.

Oh, you want an example, bro?

Antonio Brown knows what that’s like. Brown, a former Central Michigan football player and current wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, overcame a bleak situation in his teens.

At 16, he lived out of his car for a couple months. Six years later, he was drafted in the sixth round of the NFL draft after he left CMU as a junior.

In July, Brown signed a 5-year, $42.5 million extension with the Steelers, which includes an $8.5 million signing bonus.

He's also made some NFL history already. He became the first player in NFL history with at least 1,000 receiving yards and 1,000 return yards last season.

"I've been fighting for my life before and sleeping in cars and trying to find a place to lay my head," Brown said in an article by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I've had situations where I've had nowhere to go. This is the easy part. I overcame life"


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