Don't Let Anyone Tell You That You Can't Do Something.
This week is the NFL Draft Combine. This event, held every year in Indianapolis, allows the scouting departments of all of the NFL franchises to evaluate the top college seniors, who are dreaming of being drafted by an NFL team. During the combine, these college seniors are put to the test! They are tested in a 40 yard dash, maximum number of bench press reps using 225 lbs, max height vertical jump, and about 5 other tests, including some position specific tests. These tests are used to compare one player to another at their position, but also to players at different positions as well.
Inevitably there is a great story that comes out the combine, but I honestly cannot remember ANY story that is quite as amazing as the story of Shaquem Griffin. Born with Amniotic Band Syndrome affecting his left hand, Griffin had underdeveloped fingers on his left hand. At age 4, he had his left hand amputated. For most people, this would be the end of their athletic dreams. Luckily for Shaquem Griffin he is a twin, so his twin brother, Shaquill, never treated him any differently and continued to push him. You would think that not having the use of one hand would limit the sports that he could play, but Griffin competed in track, football, and baseball. Finally reaching the University of Central Florida where he played linebacker and was considered a potential late-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. His performance at the combine has moved him MUCH farther up the "draft boards" of many NFL teams. Griffin ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38, which is the fastest recorded 40-yard dash by a linebacker since 2003! Then to top his amazing weekend off, he did 20 repetitions on the bench press, using a prosthetic hand.
The take away message here is that it would have been very easy for Shaquem Griffin to give up on his dreams, and I am sure that plenty of people told him that he should.
HE DIDN'T LISTEN!
Don't let other people stop you from doing what you want in life. Don't let physical limitations be an excuse to stop you from pursuing your dreams. Step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself!
IF THIS DOESN'T MOTIVATE YOU
Shaquem Griffin 20 Bench Press Reps 2018 NFL Combine
Dr. William "Chip" Bleam