By Mike T. Smith
Peyton Manning Teaches Us All a Lesson About Life
This past Sunday night Denver Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning broke the record for most touchdowns ever thrown surpassing Brett Farve’s 508 with No. 509 to be exact.
That’s nothing short of incredible. It’s easy to take it as just another line in the NFL record book that Manning’s name will occupy, but it means so much more than that.
What makes this even more impressive is the fact that three years ago it looked like his career was over. A severe neck injury sidelined him for the entire 2011 NFL season. It took two neck surgeries and several months of rehab to get back to a point where doctors would clear him to play.
There was a time that one of the greatest players ever could barely through the ball 20 yards. Heck, I can throw the ball 20 yards (with zero accuracy). It’s not impressive. It would’ve been easy for Manning to throw it all in and call it a career.
An already very successful; MVP awards, Super Bowl champion, and record filled career up to that point. He obviously didn’t need the money either. He wanted to keep playing because he loves his job. He loves the joy that he gives his fans. He also felt like he had some unfinished business to tend to. It wasn’t an easy task.
In addition to taking care of his body, he had to deal with the mental roadblocks that he was feeling.
The uncertainty of it all, plus all of his critics that said that he was finished. Even when he finally got back on the field I’m sure there was some fear on whether his neck would hold up after the first hit.
After all NFL defensive teams were not going to take it easy on him, nor should they. His own offensive lineman actually even tripped him the immediate play before the record breaking touchdown. Then there was that 509th touchdown pass. A pass thrown in the end zone to teammate Demaryius Thomas in front of the hometown fans in Denver.
He did it all in typical Manning fashion. In untypical Manning fashion he let himself smile and enjoy the moment. As Peyton took off his helmet to celebrate you could actually observe the scar on the back of his neck.
A reminder to how the odds of this celebration ever taking place were heavily stacked against him.
Despite everything stacked against him just three short years ago, here he is once again beating the odds, and he owes it all to a relentless work ethic, a strong support system of family and friends, and a “It’s not finished until I say it’s finished’” attitude.
Every one of us can adopt that same attitude and tilt the odds in our favor, no matter what your goal is. We could all learn on how to succeed and win at life from Peyton Manning, even us Titans fans.
Teen Expert Mike T. Smith will be presenting at the College Financial Aid ‘Exploring Options’ Workshop at the Bartlett Library on October 30, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. Teens and parents are welcome, especially if they bring Mike a large sweet tea with no ice.
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