A few months ago, I was walking the beach at Mayport, one of the few beachside resort towns in the Northeast United States that was still a part of the New England mainland.
The ocean breeze was still beating in the summer breeze and I was wearing a white cotton shirt with a white stripe down the front.
I was surrounded by the same surfers who were walking by and I didn’t notice that they were all wearing blue shirts, so I went back to my seat and watched them all go out to lunch.
When I got home, I put on a white shirt and a black shirt and I put my black pants on and put my white shoes on and I looked at the beach and I said, ‘Oh, this is really nice.
I love this.’
And I said to myself, ‘This is a beach.’
I saw that they had a whole group of kids playing in a sand pool, and they were doing flips, surfing, playing tag and everything.
And I started thinking, ‘Well, this really is a great beach.
It’s beautiful, there’s nothing going on, the kids are all doing what they’re supposed to do.’
I didn, in fact, walk into the school that day and they had all been there, and I went in and said, “Hey, I’m here for my day off, I can’t take it.”
So I walked into the gym, which was a little smaller than I normally would, and the kids were there, I went to the pool and I did a little bit of a workout.
I started doing pull-ups and push-ups, and one of my classmates got really big and started to pull himself up.
I said ‘Why are you pulling yourself up?’ and he said, “‘Cause I’m not really good at this,’ I said.
And he said he was not even good at the pull-up.
So he just pulled himself up and went, ‘OK, well, what are you gonna do now?'”
So I went over to the other boy and I started teaching him.
And after that, I got up and I got out of my shorts and I told him, “I want you to do the push-up,” and I’m like, ‘No, no, no.
It was good, let’s keep going.’
“And I got back to school, and then I had my day of sun.
So I did that for the rest of the summer.
Then a few months later, the sun started coming out again, and this summer, I did it again.
It turned out that this time, I wasn’t even trying, and my parents were very supportive.
I didn and I never had any problems with the school.
I had a great summer, and all of my friends were all there.
And then I started getting really worried, like, I’ve got to do something.
I went out to the beach one day and I came back and my friend was there and he was doing pullups and he went, “Yo, you can do these!”
And I was like, “What?”
And he was like “You can do them.”
So that’s how I started.
I thought, I should do it for myself, and now I’ve made a difference.
I feel like I’m a great athlete and I’ve been doing it for two years.
And now, I feel that way.
And so it’s amazing to be doing what I love.
That’s why I always say to people, when I look at myself in the mirror, I don’t see a person.
I see the ocean, I see my friends, I look up and look at all these people.
And if I can show them that I am good at something, then I feel good about it.
I think that I’m one of those kids who just want to do whatever it is I can do, and just do it because I like doing it.
That was what I was looking for when I was doing my push-outs.
And it’s still working out, but I’ve definitely learned that the best thing to do is to not try and do it, just do whatever you have to do, because it’s always gonna be hard.
But I’ve learned that it can still be tough, and you can always make it.
And the more you do it the better it is.