Coop’s Corner

It’s that time of year again.

Football, retail shopping, tons of food, football, family, food and more football.

When we were toddlers, our teachers would give us assignments to write a list of what we were thankful for.

As we get older, the list changes.

We went from being thankful for finally catching that elusive Pokémon to being thankful for a roof over our head and steady income (wow—getting old is boring).

While yes, I am thankful for my family and job, it’s really not at the top of my list this year.

I’ve learned a lot this year, about many things.

I won’t beat around the bush, the most important thing I learned this year is—it’s up to you.

It truly is.

Originally, I set out for this column to be about sports and sports only, but there’s another issue weighing greatly on my mind.

I don’t think many people are thankful for themselves and I see self-confidence fading away.

It’s not cockiness. It doesn’t mean you have to have a huge ego. You just have to believe in yourself, and that alone will carry you a long way.

All my life, I knew I wanted to write about sports.

I always had a way with words—at least that’s what I was told—and I love sports.

You’d think the career path would be obvious, but that wasn’t the case.

My buddies and I would sit in a circle looking up at the stars thinking, “how great would it be to get paid to talk about sports?”

Well, one summer I decided it was time to set out on that path.  The path to getting paid to talk about sports.

I went most of my life afraid to take risks and really push myself to do something I really wanted.

The idea of student loans frightened me, even though I was always told it was like investing in yourself.

Wow, what a scary thought.  I’m going to “invest” a bunch of money in myself, when I can’t even make up my mind about the simplest matters.

It was just an excuse. I was afraid to take a chance on myself and would create every “reason” imaginable to get out of it.

I honestly don’t know what sparked the idea to go back to school.  I like to think it was because I was getting tired of the same old routine of waking up, working my part-time job and finding myself stuck.

Part of me thinks it was just an impulse and the other part of me thinks it was because it had been too long since I heard the words, “I’m proud of you, Dillon,” come from my mom.

I’m thankful for finally finding the courage and belief in myself to pursue my dreams, and I’m thankful to Citrus College for providing me the materials to pursue this dream.

Yes, I’m thankful for having the privilege to watch Clayton Kershaw, the best pitcher in baseball, pitch and make batters look silly on a consistent basis.

Of course I’m thankful for my family and the people that continue to support me in my pursuit of happiness.

But this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful that I finally have the belief in myself to achieve what I’ve always wanted to achieve: to make a living talking about the thing I love most in this world—sports.