Forged on the Gridiron Anvil

This essays answers the question of how I came to be the man I am today. A self reflective essay posed to display the virtues I gained through the experience of playing football (American). Mainly purposed to display the quality of the writer (myself) as a person and potential student/member of the college community.

The night air is just cold enough to see my breath through my facemask as the familiar “clacking” of our cleats on the pavement continues to the luminescent stadium that is our haven. The once low rumble of the crowd becomes a roar as we draw near, like gladiators to the colosseum, the mob expects a show, one which we are happy to provide. I step on that field, that field which not only contains my sweat, my blood, but my heart and my soul, for it is on that field that I was forged into the person I am today.

The field is not my home: I cannot relax on the field, nor can I entertain myself with the menial tasks that others, who do not have the privilege of belonging to this brotherhood, are subject to. I cannot sit at my home for seven hours every day and rest my head from the school day that has recently been conquered, for after my time spent strengthening my mind, I must spend time strengthening my body. This, I do on the football field.

The football field not only creates a sound environment where I can stress my body, but where I can seek out the limits of my mind’s control over my body, how far I can push myself, how strong I really am. That is something I cannot test in school, and as intriguing as it is to learn about the Storming of the Bastille, nothing compares to reaching a new limit to your own potential out on the field. I cannot think of any better feeling than knowing that I reached my potential, and chose to delve deeper.

The football field can be a dangerous place for the unwary; it requires absolute focus and unflinching vigilance to be out on that field. As a defensive player, a linebacker no less, we must be stalwart, as the spartan-led alliance of greeks at Thermopylae, we must hold the line with ferocity and without fear. Fear causes you to hesitate, and hesitation will get you hurt, or give the other team yards. It is a violent sport no doubt, and is made for the warriors of the modern day, as gladiators fought in the colosseum, as knights competed in tournaments, football players fight on the field. We fight, until we cannot fight anymore, and then, we keep fighting.

With a brotherhood such as this, each player has a certain responsibility to his or her team. School is essential in order to compete, and as member of the team, you represent the school as a whole. It is unacceptable to simply skate by as a “passing” student. It is our responsibility to excel in classes and to not only get high marks, but to be a contributing member of the community you represent, and an upstanding citizen wherever you go. Fundraising, community service, good behavior in school, working hard in the classroom, these are all things we do in order to maintain our high standards of citizenship and brotherhood.

And as I exit that field, my head held high, the sweat dried on my face, my jersey still damp, my body exhausted, I feel a certain sense of pride that I cannot find, hard as I search, anywhere but on that field. I smile looking back and forth at my brothers, and they return my enthusiasm with several hard pats on my shoulder pads. I breathe deeply of the victory we just attained, the pride we have given our community, the example we have set for younger generations to come, and the tradition we have carried on for one more year. It is that sensation that makes it all worth while; the running, the hits, the pain, everything there is all worth it, because it is that pain, that struggle, that has given me the opportunity to grow.

Leave a Comment