I wanted to quit.

Playing Division I football is no picnic, let alone as a walk-on, unless of course…

… your picnic is infested with a swarm of African army ants…

…the sky is pelting you with softball-sized hale…

…and you have to trudge through miles and miles of mud and swamplands before you eat.

Then yes it was a picnic.

Afterall we were fed copious amounts of PowerBars and pregame meals.

So it wasn’t all bad.  Ha!

I was speaking with another walk-on athlete yesterday and it brought back the “character-building” memories of being a walk-on athlete.

People often ask me what it was like or if it was fun to play at Boise State.

It had its moments of joy, excitement, and fun for sure but by and large, not the way I would describe the experience as a whole.

What I typically respond with is…

“I wouldn’t say it was fun.  It was a great experience and I wouldn’t trade it, but fun does not accurately describe it.”

It tested my will.

It molded my character.

It was a mental and emotional battle alongside the physical beating it dished out.

But my days playing football at the time were some of my least favorite times and now they are some of my most memorable moments.

It is the experiences that challenge us that we typically remember the most and that generally shapes who we are.

The wins are fun and they don’t force growth as much as the defeats or challenges.

As I look back over my life I remember far more of these character-building moments than anything else and they are what has shaped who I am.  

– Spending nights up with my firstborn feeding and caring for him.

– Trudging miles and miles through bear-infested tundra with my dad

– Dropping fifteen pounds in three hours for a wrestling match where I learned not to tell but to ask

– Spending the night in a pike camp with my dad where my teeth chattered, I convulsively shivered, and we were a few hundred yards from caribou carcasses in bear territory

– Losing in the semi-final match of the state championship because I didn’t want it enough

– Being jobless, moving in with my sister, having my car repoed and being thrust into a reality I never imagined

Seek experiences and moments in life that challenge you as these are the moments that change you.

These are the moments that you will remember forever.

In the moment, these experiences are mentally, physically, and emotionally challenging.

In the long run, these experiences and what they make of you are your most valuable asset.

When facing challenge charge forward!

Brett “Charge!” Denton