I was always too busy to just sit down and read a book. Between football and year round basketball reading really was one of my last priorities when I had free time. With the free time I had I liked to play video games and hangout with friends. I still remember the nights my mom would have to force me to read a book that I had an assignment due for the next day. At such a young age I thought it was torture but I knew I had to get it done in order to do well in school. One morning in English class I walk in to find a book on my desk. In confusion I asked a friend next to me, “where did this book come from? “Mr. Burger gave them to us to read this quarter “ he said.
Scratching my head in disbelief Mr. Burger announces to the class “The first 20 pages are due tomorrow morning and there will also be a quiz. ” At this point I start to worry about getting the reading done knowing later that day I had a 3 hour long basketball practice to attend. I also knew if I waited to get the reading done until after practice it would never get done due to my lack of interest and fatigue from a long day. So that day as soon as I got home from school, yet dreading every bit of it I started reading the book Twisted.
After reading the first 20 pages of the book I still found myself very uninterested already. The story was about this average high school guy who had average looks, was a average student, and had an average dysfunctional family. The book was also about this average guy getting caught spray painting graffiti on his school this giving him outdoor work all summer. The next day in school Mr. Burger gave us the quiz he had promised to give us the day before. “You have 20 minutes to complete the quiz and turn it in, “ he said. So I began the quiz confident that I was going to do well on it until I got to the last 2 problems.
I started to think about why I didn’t know the answer to these questions then it finally hits me near the end of the 20 pages I had completely blanked everything out, and that’s where these questions came from. After the quiz Mr. Burger went over all the answers, but also answered questions students had. Once I heard the answers to the last few problems I was very disappointed that I could not remember them. A couple months later we finally finish one of the most boring, uninteresting books I had ever read. I ask the girl sitting next to me “how did you like reading the book? “I didn’t really like the beginning but I thought it was a great book” she said.
I just could not understand how some people enjoy reading books. I was just happy to finally be done reading that book. Later that week we had a test over the entire book. I knew if I did not study for this test I would for sure fail it. So just when I thought I was done reading, I have to review all the main parts of the story, and try my hardest to remember parts I blanked out while reading. That night I stayed focused, and reviewed the entire book from cover to cover. Making sure I wasn’t missing anything so I would do well on the test.
When I was finally done with reviewing the book I started feeling weary, so I passed out. The next morning I get the test and it felt like I knew every single answer on it. I was very confident that I would get a good grade, but also proud of myself remembering the main parts of the story. Later that day I went online to check my score on the test I had took earlier, and very proud of myself I see I got an 85% on the test. I knew that the hard work would pay off even if I didn’t like the book. This gave me confidence that even if I didn’t like the book I could still read and understand it.
The next weekend my team and I took a trip to California for a big basketball tournament. As we got deeper into the tournament, the closer we were to going to Disneyland and California Adventure. With every win I felt like our team improved, we won the first 4 games of the tournament, and we were on our way to the championship game. The next day in the championship game near the end of the 1st quarter I went up for a layup and came down on my ankle wrong. I had torn my growth plate in my right ankle, so my ankle swelled up like a softball and turned a dark purple color.
So from the sideline I had to watch my team take on the best team in the tournament without me. In the 4th quarter with about 10 seconds left my team was ahead by 2 but the other team had the ball. I didn’t want to watch as one of the top ranked kids in California at the time was dribbling the ball up court. All you could hear was a swish and the crowds cheers, I took a look at the score board the time was double zeros and we had lost by 1 point. Even though I had hurt my ankle I really wished I could’ve helped my team pull out the victory.
On the bright side my best friends and I got to cut to the front of the lines at Disneyland because of my injury. The next day my family and I were getting ready to go back home to Tucson, but we were interrupted by the hotel shaking, it felt like the hotel was going to tip over. An earthquake had hit, and I was stuck at the top level of the hotel with a broken ankle. I look around for my family, and they are nowhere to be seen. They had already gone downstairs to safety without me; I almost started freaking out because this was also the first earthquake I’ve ever witnessed.
Later that day we were finally on out way back to Arizona something I would normally be dreading if I hadn’t just been stuck at the top of a tall hotel during a earthquake. On our long drive home I decided to open a book my mom had bought me that she thought would interest me. The title was Never Give Up a documentary on my favorite football player of all time and a former U of A football star. The book was about Tedy Bruschi getting a mild stroke in 2005 that left a small hole in the wall separating left and right atria from his heart. Most players after an injury of that caliber would retire almost immediately.
But Bruschi was not just another football player he was one of the strongest willed men to ever play the game of football! Only one year later in 2006 Bruschi had returned to the football field and was also named defensive captain for the New England Patriots. This book had me not wanting to put it down; I was so interested in how a football player could go through a stroke, but still play at the high level that he played at before the stroke. I still can’t believe that a man could go through a stroke and still be in the physical shape to play in the NFL.
I know not everyone can come back and play football after a heart attack, but Bruschi was just one of those special cases of not wanting to give up his dream because of a bump in the road. I truly admire Tedy Bruschis desire to never give up and his fight against the odds of him returning to play football in the NFL. Everyone had their doubts when they first heard the news that Bruschi was going to make a comeback to football after having to sit a year out due to a heart attack, but when Bruschi ran on to the field in 2006 he shocked everyone, even myself.
Bruschi went on to play 3 more years in the NFL before finally deciding to retire from the league in 2009. Bruschi retired with 3 super bowl rings and a NFL comeback player of the year award in 2006. After he retired from the NFL he started working with ESPN as a football analysis. Bruschi is one of the greatest linebackers of all time and will forever be remembered for what he did on and off the football field. He will forever be the man that overcame adversity and a stroke to come back to play in the NFL.
Bruschi’s book showed me that I could be interested in reading a book. It also made me realize that no matter what happens hard work will pay off in the long run. It doesn’t matter what type of problem you run into as long as you are willing to work diligently and not wait for the problem to resolve itself. This book made me realize that I do actually like to read, but it is all about finding your book of interest. It also showed me to never give up because Bruschi never did when he had a stroke, why would I ever give up on something as easy as reading a book I do not like