Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Herschel Walker

I was inspired today. As I was running on the treadmill this afternoon dreading the shoveling and plowing I will be asked to do later tonight, I saw Herschel Walker for Five Good Minutes on PTI. Obviously, this was a name I was familiar with. I could have told you he was a Pro Bowl caliber running back for the Cowboys in the '80's and '90's, but not much beyond that. However, my curiosity about this character peaked after his impressive showing with Sammy's boys on ESPN.

Walker turns 48 years old at the beginning of March, but the proposition he is taking on currently is more in line for a 22 year old. Walker will make his debut in the Mixed Martial Arts arena this Saturday at Strikeforce: Miami. He has been training for the past 12 weeks for this fight, and he looks to be in great shape. He also says he feels as if he is in great shape. Admittedly, I know as much about MMA, UFC, and the AKA as I do about the PBA, UFO's, and figure skating, but I was intrigued by Walker's dedication, discipline, and demeanor as he discussed his upcoming challenge. He told Kornheiser and Wilbon how few people knew his interest in martial arts and boxing were actually stronger than his interest in football while he was racking up some of the best rushing numbers in college football history at Georgia. Walker appears to have no fear as he the big day quickly approaches. He spoke confidently and fluidly about his desire to compete and his admiration for guys in MMA. The fight will air on Showtime, and Herschel is donating all the proceeds to charity. If he wins, though, I could see this glorified hobby of his becoming more of an obsession.

Walker is an incredible athlete. He was not very successful at much as a kid, but at 12 years old, he decided he wanted to be an athlete. And that is what he became, very quickly. He set a goal in junior high to do 100,000 sit-ups and push-ups in one year. So he started preforming 2,500 sit-ups and 1,500 push-ups daily, and he has not stopped. Even into retirement from professional football, Walker amazingly continues to start each day with 2,500 sit-ups and 1,500 push-ups. Unbelievable! I was known as the Ironman in high school for the absurd amount of sit-ups and push-ups I could preform on demand, but my records pale in comparison to Walker's daily ritual. I am not even crazy enough to set a goal like that, but I do think Herschel's ability to set a goal and accomplish it is inspiring. He put together a stellar college and professional football career, but off the field, he competed in the 2-man bobsled team for the United States during the 1992 Olympics. He was a high school track star. He was more than an amateur boxer. He defeated a stuttering problem by reading outloud to himself everyday, and he has overcome DID, also known as Multiple Personality Disorder, in the more recent past. Some argue Walker is the best college football player of all time. I do not have anywhere near enough football history knowledge to argue either way. Coming from Illinois, I might be inclined to argue for the Galloping Ghost or my boy, Justin Harrison, but no matter, I do find Walker an interesting role model.

For some impressive highlights check out these Herschel Walker links:

1. As a freshman at Georgia,Herschel runs through a Tennessee defense to the end zone.

2. Walker catches two beautiful touchdowns to defeat rival Florida in 1981 by five points.

3. ESPNU names Herschel college's greatest running back ever.

1 comment:

  1. Nice write-up Steve. Boxing, Bobsledding, and Football all in the same lifetime is amazing!


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