|My first year of football -1989.|
There stood little Coby, confident, proud and fearless.
But then it happened...puberty. Well, let me rephrase that. Everybody went through puberty but me. In 7th grade I was much smaller than all of my teammates. I still made the "A" team because of my tenacity and technique, but I was greatly outsized every game.
There stooped little Coby, scared, insecure but bravely moving forward.
This little guy taught me a lot about being brave.
There is one moment that stands out to me that literally happened but also stands as a metaphor for what bravery means to me. I was in 7th grade playing football for the Beverly Hills Bears. At this time I was playing corner, which is basically a wide defensive end since nobody passed in 7th grade. We were playing Jackson Intermediate and they had a running back that was literally a foot taller than me and had a pubescent mustache. He came around the edge and I closed in to make the tackle. As I hit him it felt like every bone in my body broke. I literally cried in pain. And yet, I followed through with the tackle and brought him down for a mere one yard gain. To me, this is what bravery looks like.
I used to think bravery meant to be confident and fearless. But here I sit, 36 years old, having lived a full and meaningful life and sometimes I still am insecure. Sometimes I'm still scared. Even though I thought I'd have all my stuff together by now, sometimes I'm still a mess.
I'm learning that bravery is not always connected to confidence. I'm learning that insecurity is not the opposite of bravery. Rather, bravery is not letting your insecurity keep you from fighting. Bravery is waking up and taking one step at a time, even when things are uncertain. Bravery is not letting your fear write the narrative of your life. Bravery is pushing through the pain and tackling a large child who has a mustache.