May 24, 2022
I want to share with you something very cool that a person I personally know accomplished in the face of many challenges, setbacks, and against great odds.
This very situation and outcome shows us that Winning is determined by what happens BEFORE the “GAME”.
“Game” meaning any event, small or large, that’s has meaning and is important to you.
Everyone has goals and dreams. They’re easy to come by and fun to have.
However, so many people take it no farther beyond a wish. The moment things don’t go their way, or the effort required becomes too hard, or the work is not fun anymore – they either begin to go through the motions or stop all together.
But not my friend Abu Daramy-Swaray. I met Abu when he came to help us move and pick up a huge roll of outdoor field turf for a speed training facility I’m associated it with in Columbus, Ohio.
He was working multiple jobs trying to pay his bills, while not giving up on his life-long dream to play in the NFL.
No need to be a football fan to appreciate the goodness of this story.
Born in the Republic of Sierra Leone, ranked as one of the poorest in the world and ravaged by an 11-year long civil war that displaced two million and killed more than fifty thousand.
One of those families was Abu’s and one of those lives lost was he father.
In 2000, when Abu was three year old, his mother was able to get out of the country and to the United States where he moved in with family living in Columbus, Oh.
Limited resources, and virtually no money, we can only imagine the great difficulties Abu and his mom experienced.
And today, at 5’9” and 172 lbs. nearly everyone told him he’s got no chance to fulfill his life-long dream to make it to the NFL.
Especially, after the few years that have passed since finishing his collegiate career in 2019 without a single call from any interested teams.
Not giving up, Abu spent 2021 playing in the German Football league.
This year, he did whatever he could, however he could to cover bills and still train to be ready for one shot that perhaps only he still believed would happen.
Well, as you might guess, knowing that Dulci Sweets and this Champion Community is all about Shining a Light on What is Good, Positive, and Inspirational, that one call – one shot presented itself.
And Abu was more than ready. He had stayed true to himself and his dream. He did what most don’t. He practiced, trained, prepared, worked on himself, his skills, his development in advance of the opportunity.
Did you catch that? Not after the opportunity became known or available, but beforehand.
All while no one appeared to be watching. No lights, no cameras, no fans. And no one would have known the difference if he had or hadn’t. Until, the opportunity arrived and then it would haven been too late to “get ready”.
Being at the top of his “Game” given his first and only shot, in one 45 minute tryout, Abu shinned and stood out among the rest.
Last week the Cincinnati Bengals made him an offer.
The headlines read, Bengals sign CB Abu Daramy-Swaray after rookie tryout.
The news announcement included, “It’s always a good story when a player doesn’t even hear his name called as an undrafted free agent get a shot in rookie camp and earn a spot on the offseason roster and a chance at training camp, especially after a few years.”
To me, this situation and process, regardless of the outcome, screams the word Relentless - No walk away. No quit. Continually knocking on the door. Putting in the work. Learn, Practice, Apply, Review, Refine, Improve and Repeat, constantly!
Not because success came quick and easy. He was successful because he was relentless. He remained committed to the process. He was willing to stay in the game, be patient when it often appeared nothing was happening.
Abu’s work, heart, belief, faith, and eventual achievement epitomizes the fruitful reward that comes through perseverance.
Nobody stops their way to success.
We all know what it’s like to have no one ‘open’ the door so we have to keep knocking.
Relentless - keeps us in the game when most people want to stop.
A relentless person WILL Not Be Denied!
A relentless person WILL Keep Coming!
A relentless person WILL Eventually Breakthrough and Win!
Today, go out and Be Relentless. That’s the only way you will get what you need and eventually accomplish what you want.
God allows you to go through tests and trials so you can learn by experience that doing things his way is the best way. If you will not serve and worship him in the hard times of life (the valleys), you may not consistently serve and worship him in the good times (the mountaintops).
Remember that mountaintops encourage you, but valleys mature you. Let us be thankful for both.