I want you to imagine your childhood full of cold nights in a ragged trailer house with no electricity, feeling the pains of hunger from a lack of money to buy food, and enduring sleepless nights terrified that at any moment you’d hear the crack of the floor as your own stepfather, who’s a pastor, made his way into your room to sexually violate you – at the innocent age of five years old.

These are just a few of the traumatic experiences I had as a child.

Let’s just face it – I’m not supposed to be here. I shouldn’t be here considering the psychological impact this had, let alone been able to accomplish the things I have. The insecurities my upbringing planted in my mind and attached to my heart have taken years to unravel. I understand what it means to feel unworthy – to have the attributes, skills and perseverance to create success, but fighting feelings of doubt and, ultimately, sabotaging my own progress in life.

So, traumatic experiences and all, how did I become the first person in my entire family to graduate college, become an All-American Athlete, professional football player, Hall of Famer, and Start-up Founder? And, most importantly…how do I still trust and love Christ as my personal Lord and savior after my father here on earth shattered who my father in heaven is to be?

If any of these experiences seem unfathomable, keep reading. Learn how I’ve been able to thrive regardless of the circumstances I have been through.

I want to share with you the person who kept my spirit alive. She is a remarkable woman and I have the blessing of calling her my mother.

My mother has unshakable faith and single-handedly built my inner strength by speaking power into me on a daily basis. She rebuilt my confidence when my relatives and peers tarnished my self-image. I went through years listening to people calling me names, mocking my lips and extremely course hair and publicly humiliating our family for being poor.

Even through all this, she taught me how to be my own source of strength and power, and, more importantly, how to forgive myself of the shame and guilt I hid from being molested.

My mother taught me to make do with what I had. And that doesn’t just mean money or material things; it’s life experiences. When we experience hardship, we must be intentional about finding the blessings in our circumstances.

Although not everyone has experienced my personal circumstances, I know I’m not the only person to have fought the ongoing battles with insecurity and unworthiness. I’ve learned that although everyone desires to have success in life, most don’t feel that they are worthy of pursuing what they truly desire out of life.

Does that sound like you?

Now, it's my life’s purpose and mission to help teams, organizations, and individuals triumph regardless of circumstances; to endure the storms we will inevitably experience in our lives; to learn how to identify the fears we hold in our subconscious; and, to become instinctive when facing them.

As the Founder of Lockr, the first sports technology platform that connects coaches and athletes, I work with teams of all levels and sports, encouraging them to pursue their passions and live out their dreams no matter the circumstances. Since its inception in 2013, Lockr has become more than just an app – it is the standard for how coaches and athletes make real connections.

I also founded Dyvvi, a co-parenting app that allows parents to easily document and exchange child care expenses. Dyvvi gives parents the opportunity to raise their kids in a winning environment.

My non-profit, Olympus Track Club, brings youth athletes from all walks of life together to challenge themselves to reach for their greatest potential through competition. Olympus is not only developing the best athletes in the region, but focuses on developing our athletes’ emotional, mental, and spiritual capacity so they can run freely to their destination in life.

Whether it’s teams, families or individuals, life will hit you with circumstances that are out of your control. And while I’ve achieved many of my goals, life has thrown curveballs my way.

At one point I “had it all.” I married my college sweetheart, had two beautiful kids, and a career that people would die for. I raised over half a million dollars for various startups. Life was pretty amazing.

Then, something happened.

I felt a void that I had always been able to fill with winning. My marriage was failing and I faced financial struggles. I had $17.52 in the bank account, a mortgage due, and a family of four to feed. I was forced to sell my dream home, and my startup was struggling to live up to its promise.

I was embarrassed, felt a bout of depression, and experienced unbearable stress. And shortly after, I experienced a devastating blow to my self-worth when my marriage ended in divorce.

My dreams and the life I had known were up in flames.

What? After all the successes and achievements…how did I end up at rock bottom?

I had no answers for all the tough circumstances. Yet, through it all, I could still hear that inner voice consisting of the lessons learned from my strong and passionate mother, a life of faithful teammates and persistent coaches, pushing me to reach and be fearless. And if there was one “thing” that saved me from falling into the black hole of depression it was not just hearing the voice of triumph, but acting on it.

This passion to see people triumph is my driving force: to help every individual realize they have their own source of power to achieve anything they desire in life by changing their mindset and reaching Buffalo StatusTM.

Chart Your Course Today