I Need Lattimore Inspiration
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or have no interest in collegiate sports, you have probably heard about Marcus Lattimore’s terrible injury. I saw it happen live on TV and my heart sank. Living in Columbia, a mere 20 minutes from The University of South Carolina and William’s Brice Stadium, the Gamecocks are near and dear to my heart. And #21, is one of our favorite players. Not only is Lattimore a tremendous football player, but he’s a hell of a nice guy. No, he’s actually more than that. He is the embodiment of what true sportsmanship should be. He has been known to show up at 5:45 am and run the punishment with team mates who missed study hall or breakfast check, which at times included running every step at Williams Brice Stadium. When one of his team mates asked him, “What are you doing here? You didn’t break any rules?” Lattimore replied, “I’m here because you’re here.” (I read this on Marty Simpsons blog. You can read it here.)
Last year, at about this time, he tore his ACL, forcing him to miss the rest of the 2011 season. But you could always see him on the sideline, wearing his #21 jersey and hobbling up and down on his crutches, encouraging his team mates. That is one of the main reasons you saw South Carolina and Tennessee take the field after he got hurt, and why greats like Nick Saban (Alabama), Les Miles (LSU), Mark Richt (Georgia) and players from all over the SEC and other colleges storming twitter with well wishes.
You see, not only is Lattimore an inspiration to a lot of people, he is an inspiration to me. The last 2-3 years have been a real struggle. Losing a job, a business, and family through death, I have often lay in bed at night and ask God, “Why me? What did I do?” Even now, I question and struggle with what I’m supposed to do with my life and my inadequacies as a man trying to provide for his family. I can’t speak for Lattimore, because I don’t know him, but I would imagine he is laying in a hospital bed, and while he may have asked, “Why me?”, he is contemplating his comeback.
You could see the look on his face after the hit, and it screamed, “Not again. Please not again.” He was taken off the field with a towel over his face, not wanting to show the fear and the tears as eighty thousand strong cheered for him. But Lattimore is a fighter. He seems to be the type of guy who is now contemplating his comeback, a mere 48 hours after suffering such a severe hit.
And that is where I draw inspiration. I have been thinking and praying for this young man, who turns 21 today, and have said, “If he can come back…so can I.” I have felt a fire inside of me begin to burn. I find myself ready to rehabilitate my thinking, and change it from “why me” to “why not me?”. I am ready to tackle the long road of adversity and pain that Marcus is going to undertake, and get my life back.
I doubt Marcus Lattimore will ever read this, but things happen for a reason. And the reason he got hurt again maybe to rekindle a fire in me (and others) to get back up after life has hit you hard and torn you up. To get off the ropes and fight back. To trust that God will fulfill his promises, no matter how inept and weak I am. Life can’t kick you if she don’t know you’re down. I’m ready for my comeback. Are you ready for yours? Thanks Marcus for being who you are. I need a lot more inspiration, what I got was a Lattimore inspiration. Thanks. Forever 21. Go Cocks!