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Athlete

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If you’re someone who always listens to their emotions, you need to stop.

Your emotions will never be consistent. Sometimes they’ll be good, but sometimes they’ll lead you estray. On the contrary, your convictions are rooted in your belief and principles and will lead you to your calling. When your emotions say, "I'm tired, I dont want to get up," your convictions will say, "I'll be the first one up." When emotions lead you to believe you’ve done enough, your convictions will remind you that you can push a little harder or go a little further to reach your goal. When your emotions tell you that you’re good at what you do, your convictions make you realize that you can be better. I want to share this story with you that I always recall when I’m having an internal debate between my emotions and my convictions.

During my Freshman year at the University of Florida and one of the very first days with the team, we had a really strenuous workout. After we finished, our trainers said, "it's mandatory that everyone get in an ice-cold tub to begin recovering." We had two choices, we could either get in a tub of cold water or we could get in a trough that was full of ice. Both options were probably between about 35 to 50 degrees. It was freezing cold, but it was mandatory to get in there and at least up to your hip bones. 

I went into the room with all the tubs and troughs laid out, and I saw all my teammates freaking out. They hated the idea! It made us all uncomfortable. No one wanted to sit in ice cold water even if it meant our bodies would recover quicker. 

At that moment, I saw it as my mission to lead by example. It was my first day of my first year, and I wanted to earn everybody's respect. It was such a conviction for me to not only get them to like me, but to earn their respect. They might’ve liked me, but that was not as important as them respecting me. I knew if they respected me, then they'll play hard for me. However, if they like me and one day I irritate them or have to get on them, they're simply not going to like me much anymore. Respect is different. If my teammates respected me, then I knew they were going to play for me, they're going to play hard regardless of what happens! So I made it my goal to do everything I could do to earn their respect, starting with something as simple as being the first player to get in the ice-cold tub.

I remember looking at all my teammates and realizing I need to lead them. I have to be willing to stand out even if it means I have to be uncomfortable. Sometimes you’ve got to be willing to stand out so you can make an impression. Without saying a single word to anyone, I just stepped over, squatted in the tub, and I squatted all the way down and up to my neck. Granted we only had to get in deep enough to our hips, but I chose to go all the way down and up to my neck. I acted like it wasn’t even a big deal so I could motivate them to do the same. Everybody was looking at me like "What's wrong with you dude?" They would say "Why are you all the way to your neck?" and I said "I just want to get better, I just want to recover, I just want to be ready for tomorrow’s practice."

It was something I was so willing to do. I was willing to put myself in an uncomfortable position because I wanted people to look at me differently so that one day they would play for me differently than they would for other people. If they respected me that much for going the extra mile, then they're going to reciprocate that same effort for me one day. I was so passionate about leading by example because I wanted to be a great quarterback. I wanted to be a great leader. I wanted to have an impact on my team. I wanted them to follow me, so I had to step out and be a little bit different and sometimes it meant I had to do things that made me uncomfortable. I didn't want to get into an ice-cold tub up to my neck. It was miserable, nobody wants to do that, but I would gladly do that if I could impact my teammates where they could say, that guy is doing anything he can, I might go a little bit farther to do what I can too. 

That was me living by my convictions and not my emotions. My emotions didn't tell me to get in the cold tub. My emotions told me I only need to sit up to my hips because that’s all I was asked to do. My emotions told me I don't really need to go out of my way. Let me be the first to tell you, your emotions will eventually lie to you, but your convictions won’t. Your convictions will tell you you have to do more, that you need to have an impact, that you need to stand out, because if you don't, then what are you really striving for?

Are you following your emotions or your convictions?

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