The most important person in my life is someone who is always there for me no matter what the outcome. He's the first one there to say "good job or to congratulate me, and the first one there to talk with me and make me look at things from a new perspective when I am down on myself. Surprisingly, the most important person in my life is my maternal grandfather. He is the reason I am who I am. He has helped me in every conceivable capacity, from athletics, to fixing something around the house, to understanding what the right thing to do is in any given tough situation. The moral and ethical values he has embedded in me will follow me in both sports and real life.
In athletics, he has taught me never to give up no matter what. He has provided me with the mental intensity to train hard and to work harder than everyone else. I believe that no matter what the obstacle, I am capable of competing against a foe that may be bigger and faster than I and still prevail. He has shown me that the only thing stopping me from being all that I can be is myself.
He was once a great athlete in the Coal Township region. He has set the bar and has given me the tools to raise it. I know that I have inherited some of his "moxie, if not his raw talent. Life wasn't always fair to him, and he had obstacles to hurdle at a young age. He learned to never take things for granted very early in life. His father died when he was ten years old. He lived with his other three brothers most of his life. Needless to say, he had tough times in his youth. The fact that he even stayed in athletics is remarkable, given the family circumstances. He has passed down his stories and they have helped me with life today.
When he tells me to never give up in anything, whether it is athletics or academics, I can't help but think of all that he had to endure to make the grade both as an athlete and student. Who was there to