Shaquem Griffin is not a household name yet. Shaquem made history this week by being drafted by the Seattle Seahawks. What makes him unique? He only has one hand! His road to the NFL was next to impossible, and yet the impossible became reality because he never gave up on his dream.
The odds of playing in the NFL are greater than 1,000,000 to 1, so you know that to actually make it, you have to be better than good. You have to be great. Imagine doing that with only one hand!
He had a physical deformity in his left hand that was inoperable. His family made the hard decision to amputate it at age 4 to allow him to grow normally. His Mom’s greatest fear about losing the hand was how he would be treated by other kids. How was he going to take the staring and mean comments that inevitably would come his way? It was not an easy decision, but a necessary one if he was going to have any chance at growing up without a more severe limitation.
His handicap became the fuel to motivate him. He set out to prove the naysayers wrong. He became an incredible athlete. He was able to bench-press impressive weight using a prosthetic hand, and ran faster at his tryouts than any linebacker had done in 12 seasons.
Not only did he get drafted against all odds, but he has become an inspiration to the handicapped youth of America. Dreams can come true for those who are willing to endure and for those who have an unshakable confidence in themselves.
I can’t wait to see him in action. I used to just pull for the Cowboys, but last year the Eagles made me a fan (yes…I now root for them too), and now the Seattle Seahawks have made me a believer. Of course, when they play us, you know I will still pull for the Cowboys.
Great things are happening in the world of football. I love to hear stories that are so positive, uplifting, and motivational. Congrats to Shaquem and to the Seattle Seahawks!