Jerry Rice might be the epitome of determination and hard work. Stories of him running every catch in practice into the end zone are legendary. That work ethic undoubtedly contributed to his amazing football career – three Super Bowl titles, 13 Pro Bowls, and the all-time leader in receptions, touchdowns, and receiving yards – those are just a few of his accomplishments.
The circumstances that led to his achievements might be more impressive.
Jerry Rice not having money for weights to train
Jerry Rice didn’t come from a family of professional athletes. His family lived in a poor, rural town in Mississippi. He and his brothers picked cotton and laid bricks to earn money. He did what he had to do for himself and his family.
Rice didn’t play sports in school right away. He still wanted to train, though. Not being a member of the school teams kept him out of the weight room and training facilities. His family didn’t have the money to buy him weights or a gym membership.
Instead, Jerry made do with what he had. He used tire rims as weights. To create a barbell, he would hang the tire rims on a pole and lift them to get stronger and more muscular. He found a hill in his town that the football team used in practice, and he ran up and down that hill over and over in the extreme summer heat.
Going from a Division 1-AA school to the first round of the NFL Draft
Rice eventually made his high school football team, and he became a star player. The big colleges didn’t offer him a scholarship, though. He was determined to play college football, so he found a small Division I-AA school, Mississippi Valley State University, that played a passing-style offense that suited his skills. He set NCAA season records for receptions and receiving yards. The San Francisco 49ers ultimately traded up to select him in the first round of the 1985 NFL Draft.
I share this story of Jerry Rice coming from a poor family and how he worked to overcome his circumstances to show how we don’t have to wait for everything to be perfect to start working on our goals and dreams.
Don’t wait until the time and circumstances are perfect
It’s easy to use a lack of something – anything – as an excuse not to do the work. “I can’t start a blog because I need a better laptop.” “I can’t start a business until I get my MBA.” “I can’t exercise and lose weight because I have arthritis in my knee.”
Your circumstances will never be perfect. Don’t wait until the timing is just right. Don’t fall back on an excuse that you need one more piece of equipment or some person to help you.
Take action now
Take action now. Start here, where you are now. Once you make progress and you can afford nicer tools or you can build a team around you, do it. But don’t wait and tell yourself you will start working after you have what you need. Most likely, you will never start at all.
Use your disadvantages as motivation
Every time you feel down because you don’t have some advantage that your coworkers, competitors or your friends have, use it as motivation instead to push harder with what you do have. Your hard work and determination to overcome your disadvantages might be just what you need to take your game – on or off the field – to the highest level.
Ready to win in every aspect of your life?
I’ve created a checklist of 12 qualities of the world’s best athletes and coaches that will help you win in your work and life. If you adopt these traits, you will succeed in every aspect of your life, every single day.
Source: Go Long! By Jerry Rice with Brian Curtis
Recommended Products and Resources
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