Comeback Story – Jerry Rice

May 19, 2020

Hard work and passion are an unstoppable combination.

I am often inspired by incredible athletes who embody this idea of perseverance, especially when they are met with obstacles along the way. 

One such athlete is Jerry Rice. 

Considered by many to be the greatest wide receiver in the history of the NFL, Jerry Rice started his professional football career in 1985, after being drafted by the San Francisco 49ers. For 12 years his agility and skill set him apart and earned him significant honors and recognition, including being named MVP of the 1988 Super Bowl. 

However, his momentum was suddenly cut short when he fractured his kneecap in a 1997 game against the Denver Broncos. 

His injury made it impossible for him to finish out the season, but he was determined to not let it end his career. Working hard to recover quickly, Rice returned to football just a year later and went on to play seven more seasons in the NFL. After playing for 20 seasons, he retired as a Hall of Famer with 38 NFL records to his name. 

Today, the unexpected struggle that characterized the middle of Rice’s football career is often overlooked when talking about his incredible legacy. 

In my opinion, this is encouraging for anyone struggling through an unexpected setback. The current state of the world has sent so many people, myself included, into crisis mode. What we often fail to remember is that there is hope on the other side of our struggles. And our struggles will not be the thing that defines our legacy. 

During his time in the NFL, Jerry Rice famously said, “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” 

What is it that you can do today that will set you apart from the people around you? How can you redefine your legacy and set yourself up for future success?

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