Going into college athletics was a pivotal moment for me. In high school, I excelled easily and though I was challenged, I was never tested both physically and mentally as I would be in college sports.
During my first year on the Ohio State football team, I struggled to keep up. The challenge of getting up at 2-3 a.m to be at the facility at 4 a.m. for running, lifting, & practice was something I had never experienced before.
Mentally I was holding myself back from performing at my physical best and this all culminated in developing compartment syndrome, a limb-threatening injury, on my right leg which I, ultimately, believe was due to part physical exhaustion, part mental stress. The injury required same-day emergency surgery…And just like that, I was out for the rest of the season and on crutches for roughly 4 months.
Very few knew because I operated on the outside like “business as usual” but it killed me on the inside to know that I couldn’t compete and help the team this season. I was a very dark place mentally. That was around the time I discovered ET. While watching YouTube videos on how to improve in football drills during my injury I stumbled upon this video, that forever changed my life.
What ET taught me was that if I was ever going to succeed in this dream, I would need to make a mindset shift unlike any other.
A lot of us go through life claiming we want to be successful but when it’s time to dig deep and really put in the work or even just get up & show up; it turns out success wasn’t more important than say, “sleep”.
This used to be me. Kind of. See I hated getting up 3 a.m. when God knows I’d rather be sleeping, to go run, sweat, & work like hell. This was causing a subtle & subconscious conflict in me… because while I hated these early workouts at the time, I would still get up and do them.
You know when you force yourself to do something you don’t like because the bigger consequences are worse if you don’t, but your subconscious is rejecting it the whole time you’re doing it… Day in and day out of that will eventually lead to a breakdown of some kind (e.g the injury).
But as cliche as it sounds, after this video I realized that if I wanted to succeed at this dream I was going to have to give up “sleep”. I was going to have to, mentally, be comfortable with not being in bed until at least 7 a.m. And getting up to go train for my life, each and every day.
Success isn’t meant to be easy. Sacrifices, of who you are RIGHT NOW, will need to be made for you to become the person you were meant to be.
From that day it clicked for me. I learned to sacrifice sleep in the pursuit of my success. I’ve never looked back. And I’m much happier for it.