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Turning A Bad Situation Into A Good One

By Terrance Polk II
On November 14, 2016

Photo courtesy of Ottawa University Athletics

The best feeling in the world is to have your dreams come true, as it is the worst one to have them stripped from you due to your own negligence. Either way, life sure has a way of teaching you valuable lessons at the most inconvenient times.

My name is Terrance Polk II, better known as #16, wide receiver for the Ottawa Braves football team. Reflecting on my senior season has been a challenge; I can definitely say this year has been like a roller coaster. I faced some difficult obstacles throughout the season, some from my own doings while others were out of my control. I have come to terms that every action has a consequence. Although at first I struggled believing that, I now know it’s a fact.

Most athletes look forward to shining on the field their senior year and, well, I did just the opposite. Randomly players are selected for drug screening, and guess who was selected before their senior season started? Me. Yes, fresh back from the Golden State, I was chosen to submit a mandatory drug test and we all know what happened next: I failed.

When I heard those words, it felt as if my world crumbled, but the worst part was yet to come. Having to face my family, even worse, my father, with the news of failing and being suspended the first four games killed me inside. I was angry, furious, embarrassed and other feelings I can’t begin to describe. The worst part was knowing I inflicted this upon myself. Yet the best part was getting to learn how strong I really was. Although I was at my lowest, somehow I found strength to turn a negative situation into a positive learning experience.

First off, let me say it is an amazing feeling to have a supporting team. My team gave me the confidence I needed and picked me up when I was down. Therefore, I practiced although I knew I wouldn’t play. I tried to keep a positive attitude even though the rage within me wanted to explode. I was so lucky to have my family and close friends keeping me grounded: They gave me the energy to strive for something better each day. Before I knew it, the time had come to perform. Sitting out for four games and returning to the field literally felt like the first time I walked out on a football field. Moreover, seeing my parents in the stands gave me rejuvenation to own the field that day and every other to come.

Out of 6 games, I have received 554 yards for seven touchdowns and returned 14 kick-returns for 437 yards with one touchdown. In addition, I have been invited to play in the D2 vs NAIA senior bowl game hosted in South Carolina this upcoming December. I must say my dreams are starting to become true again.

In life, we all fail at times. However, if you are able to recover and make your situation better, then you have figured out the key factor to life.

For every action there will be a consequence, and as a result you will learn a valuable lesson. Never allow a bad situation to take over your wellbeing. Accept your faults and know there is something to gain from it. As motivational speaker Brian Tracy said, “ Develop attitudes of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”

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