What would cause a boy in his teens to wake up before 6 AM? The better question is, what would cause a boy in his teens to get up before 6 AM in order to exhaust himself and work harder than he has ever worked? The answer: to be a part of something that is important to him. This morning I joined a group of about 40 young men and coaches that gathered in a hot, well used weight room. These guys were lined up and ready to go in an orderly fashion at 6 AM sharp. For the next hour I was surrounded by clanging bar bells, bodies shuffling to different stations, and coaches exhorting their players to stretch themselves beyond their limits. I consider myself a morning person, but these guys put me to shame.
Normally, teen boys are known for sleeping in, playing video games, and trying to figure out the least amount of work they can do. That may even be true at times about the guys I saw today. However, on March 9 at 6 AM CST, that was not the case for these young men. They wanted to be a part of something that takes commitment. They wanted to be different, and better than other young men. They wanted to put in the extra effort to prepare themselves for something greater. They wanted to reach the higher expectations that were set for them.
As I reflected upon this morning’s observation I was reminded of what I’ve thought for years. Our young people are capable of so much more than for what we give them credit. They are rarely ever challenged to reach farther than have before, or think beyond what’s comfortable for them, or achieve what others have not achieved.
Make no mistake, they can accomplish more than they think, and more than many adults think. The question is, will we challenge them? Will we help them see beyond the norm and reach their potential?