I am but a man of experiences. Just like any other. A man of many stories. A man on a mission.
Training camp with the Atlanta Falcons ended today. This morning, before taking to the field for our last practice, I walked onto the field alone. With no purpose but to reflect. I sat and stared off into the mist that covered the fields. I looked back on each day of camp. How hard did I work? How much effort did I apply? Was I completely focused? Did I leave it all on the field?
A man of experiences. And an amazing experience this was. Post wrongful conviction, never did I imagine being here. NEVER did I imagine playing in an actual NFL game... How amazing God is, I played in 2 NFL games! And as of now, 2 more to go.
A glimpse of where I should have been, could have been, 7 years ago. The feeling of game day preparation. The energy that flows throughout the locker room. The calmness before war. Piece by piece, armor upon armor, adorned with the Falcons seal. As I ran out of that tunnel and onto the field for game one at the Dome, smoke and flames stretched into the sky, and I was reassured of my freedom. I was reminded of how thankful I was to the most high. A feeling unlike any other. A rush... an addiction.
I've learned so much throughout camp, and realized how much more learning I have to do. The learning curve was definitely unique for me. While being taught intermediate techniques and principles of the game, I also had to quickly learn the basic 101 intel of a professional linebacker. A new challenge lies before me, and so long as there is opportunity, I will continue to chip away at it until I succeed.
I dont know what lies ahead. But I do know what has been done. I worked hard. Harder than I've ever worked before. I gave camp every ounce of effort I could. I was focused as much as one could be in these shoes. And everyday, I left it all on the field, the good and the bad. I'm so thankful to Mr. Arthur Blank, a giving man. Coach Smith and Mr. Dimitroff. Thank you for this opportunity, this life altering experience. You've given me a chance, and an extended family. My respects to you all.
Two games left in pre-season. Two more weeks to get better. Two more weeks to prove that I belong here. Two more games...
I know where I want to be, and God knows my heart. Nothing last forever, and it is unknown how long things will last. So today, in this very moment, I did it. I won. I accomplished what was at one point unobtainable. I persevered. I worked hard. I gave it my all. I am unbroken. I am...free.