Get After It

Get After It

Memories are a potent thing. When they surface, they seem to carry a vibration straight to the deeper and more intimate places of the soul. It’s interesting, how one day we are going about our business, as normal, then something triggers entrance into this special place; and just like that, we are right back to the time when the memory originally occurred.

As was the case for me, last month, while attending Queen Creek High School football camp in the mountains of Joseph City, Arizona. The sound of the cleats hitting the asphalt, the smell of the summertime mountain air, the huge pillowy clouds that appear out of nowhere, all took me right back to my finest childhood memories. 

I was asked to speak to the team a month or two prior, by lifelong mentor and friend, coach Travis Schureman. As you can see, I had plenty of time to develop my thoughts. I wasn’t, however, prepared for the emotion that arose as I cut through the mountains and neared the field. Emotion compressed deep inside that special place. Safe to say, the three hour drive over was filled with many tears - tears that decompressed the emotion. I needed that.

Another Trip To The Hill

When I hit the field everything changed. Emotion turned to excitement, as I witnessed the boys get after it like a pack of hungry bulldogs. They worked together, as though it were mid-season, until the sun disappeared below the pine trees. On this day, the sunset, was moments after another trip to the hill; a hill the boys knew all too well. 

In the evening, the team looked refreshed, blending with the mountain scenery while preparing for the day’s toughest challenge: twenty-one, an offensive scoring drill. Once again they rose to the occasion, scoring twenty-one straight points to end practice. At this time, we proceeded to the auditorium to get acquainted with one another. 

Tate Gunning at Queen Creek High Football Camp

The Engagement

Looking into the eyes of one-hundred and sixty-two young men is intimidating. To me, they resembled little gladiators and looked like Zeus; each of them, in their own unique way. You see, I had practiced and studied notecards for several weeks. Overall, I had a vision for the engagement, but my thoughts shifted as I took the stage. I mean, what do you say to a room full of Zeus’s? 

We discussed winning, the importance of being a better teammate, and what it takes to be a champion. All the while, the script I had previously designed to follow morphed into a conversation. It was natural and felt good.

With certainty, these young gladiators impacted me greatly. My inner chord was struck. I left feeling committed to improvement and conquering my weaknesses. It was an experience I’ll never forget.

The Reflection

After much reflection, one thing sticks out to me above everything else: we, as humans, have an amazing ability to change the outcome of any situation we desire. In other words, within each of us is a champion. And, like other champions we have weaknesses - things we hope to overcome. But, how can you overcome something without realizing what it is first?

In the question lies the key: we must figure out the things we’d like to overcome. It is necessary, therefore, to evaluate your life - look deep. What are the things you’d like to change? I warn you, at times it will be scary. You may not like what you see. Don’t worry, it’s okay, because inside each of us is a champion, and champions triumph over anything they set their minds too.

Remember, the real work begins once you discover the answer. Then, the question becomes: Will you get after it? 

Camp Slogan: Get After It

Camp Quote: “The world isn’t interested in the storms you encountered, but whether or not you brought in the ship.”

About the Author

Tate Gunning

Tate Gunning

Tate Gunning has entered his life purpose with the creation of Inhouse Treatment. For over 10 years, he suffered from addiction, living homeless, in jail, and on the streets. Rehab didn’t work; he couldn’t get clean. Now 3 years sober and completely transformed, he is ready to teach the enjoyment of recovery.

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