A friend shares advice from a true champion: Shawn Long
I lost a very good friend last week. He was a selfless man who gave to others as if he was an endless well of faith and encouragement. He taught me that a simple life is the best way to live and that the only thing that really mattered was “family.” In his eyes, we were all family, and through our relationships we were put on this earth to care for each other regardless of race or creed. As a physician and friend, I had helped him in various capacities over the years and he had recently discovered the vitality of healthy living and the value of living every day to the fullest. Shawn helped me in return by being a constant source of positivity, and on my lesser days, continually reminding me that it really, “ain’t all that bad.”
“Life is good, Russ Reiss,” is how he would always and endearingly phrase it.
Below is an email Shawn wrote to our team a month before he was suddenly taken from us in a tragic car accident. This was his recently adopted philosophy and I believe it was truly working for him. I am incredibly grateful that he was compelled to share it with all of us and our children.
I wanted to share a letter with you that I will be sharing with the boys today. It was given to me by Pete Kaligis, DL Coach from the University Of Wyoming, whom I met while doing G.O.A.T. Camp three years ago. It’s a letter that has changed my life, my attitude, and its something I try and strive for every day. What makes it great, is that it doesn’t just apply to football, you can apply it to anything you want in life. We’re not just teaching football, we’re teaching life. Thank you for taking the time to read….
“There are a lot of average people walking around who have Champion buried inside them, but are not trained or are not willing to do the work needed. Being average is a choice. You were created to be a Champion. You have the seeds of greatness inside you. However, you have to do the work to grow the seeds. It takes work to be a Champion. You have to do the work and the training to bring it out. It is hard work, takes sacrifice and discipline. Do not take the easy way out. Do what you need to do to be great. It is truly disappointing knowing that so many people go to their graves with never bringing out the relentless Champion. It’s not too hard. You have what it takes. You can do this. There are people around you that will be there to help you. Then in time you will be able to help those around you too. Take the time to do the work to be unstoppable. No more excuses. No more whining. Are you doing the work to be a Champion today?”