“You ain’t gotta like me, but you gon’ respect me” -JRO-
I come with the mindset of a self-made billionaire, the grind of an unemployed mom of three, the work ethic of an individual that never had it, managed to earn it, and then lost it to people’s cruelty and greediness.
I come with the type of parental love I never received from a father that chose to abandon his family when I was only 3 months. I come with the determination of an individual who used to be alcoholic, suicidal, and bulimic. I come with the level of faith that an unprotected child subject to 10+ years sexual harassment needs to have in order to look forward to the next day.
I come with the positivity and encouragement, I wished I had received while I was growing up alone in our changing apartments.
I bring the support that I wish I had in my club/college basketball games, my school dances or performances or the times I had a door slammed to my face because I wasn’t a Greek citizen.
I come with the consistency I was never taught as a teenager for no one was consistently home with me or really ever home with me.
I come with the drive of an individual that had to teach herself how to feel again because not caring, not loving, not letting anyone in was how she managed to:
- Become one of the best players in her country.
- Earn a scholarship to one of the best American private high schools in Europe.
- Earn a full scholarship to study and play basketball in the United States.
- Earn a Bachelors and two Masters degrees.
- Give motivational speeches.
- Travel the world while playing basketball professionally.
I'm different. I'm special. I'm extraordinary and nothing close to average!
I love what I do. I love every single thing I do. I put a deep, real, one of a kind love to what I do. My dreams are my family. My dreams are my partner. My dreams are the blood that flows in my veins.
My work ethic, my grind, my determination, my passion, my sportsmanship, my dedication, my will, my faith...didn’t come from a perfect or a “normal” childhood and past.
I chose to perfect my past. I chose to change the “logical” outcome of my past. I chose to be different. So don’t you dare disrespect, underestimate or belittle my work ethic and effort.
Don’t even try to imitate or copy what I do without giving me credit.
I may not be the best player, I may not be the best employee, I may not be the best model that posed for you, I may not be the best personal trainer you ever had, but what I give is all I got.
Demand the respect you deserve. Don’t settle, don’t let anyone think that they can take advantage of you. Just because you know how to make it through tough situations doesn’t mean that you have to always shine through bad situations. No. Let your grind, faith, and believing in yourself take you to the next level.
Be where your effort is recognized and appreciated! This doesn’t mean you will have it easy. No, but it means that you will wake up with the desire to exceed yesterday’s limit because you know it will be worth it!