I’m a huge sports fan. The principles of success were introduced to me through sports by my coaches when I was young. Over the years so many of the people I have admired were sports figures. They taught me about discipline, teamwork, sacrifice, winning, and overcoming adversity. My list of true heroes is a short one. And, at the top of that list, one man stands alone. He is a Heisman trophy winning hall of fame running back from the Houston Oilers – the one and only Earl Campbell.
In this day of overpaid, cocky, doing a crazy dance in the end zone prima donnas, Earl is my hero because he was none of these things. Earl was a workhorse – doing the job of moving the ball down the field, then going back to the huddle or sideline after scoring a touchdown. No fancy dance. Just pure hard work with humility. I love this man!
Thanks to social media (I follow his fan page on Face book!) I found out he was doing an autograph session here in Las Vegas. I immediately made my way to him.
Have you ever met your hero and then found out they weren’t that heroic in person? Well, after meeting Earl Campbell and talking to him, I was even more enamored with his story.
– His parents had 11 kids, he was #7
– He did a dance in the end zone one time in high school and a friend told him, he didn’t need to do that. Because he wanted to make his dad proud, he never did it again.
– Of all his front-row moments in his life to choose from, he told me his front-row seat moment was a speech teacher who had him do a 5-minute speech on the 2nd day of class. After his speech, she encouraged him to major in speech communication. It was that moment he didn’t feel like ‘just another dumb jock’ and went on to graduate from University of Texas.
– He was the first of the 11 kids in his family to graduate from college and after he did, 5 more of his siblings did too.
What was even more inspiring to me that day, was when I told him he was my hero because of how good yet humble he was. Then, he truly confirmed his hero status. He said, “I have been given a gift and I want to take advantage of every opportunity. Every day I wake up and I want to make a contribution to someone’s life. My goal is to make someone’s day."
What a joy it was to look him in the eye and thank him for making my day.
From your inspired to do more with humility motivational speaker, Marilyn Sherman