“Don’t give up; don’t ever give up!” 

  • Jim Valvano

Today we’re talking about never ever giving up – powering through, never giving up or giving in. 

I’ll never forget seeing Jimmy V on the ESPY’s in 1993. In his heart wrenching speech about his battle with cancer and his fight for survival he proclaimed to the world that he would never give up fighting.  

We all go through trials and tribulations, we all go through hard times and have problems.  We are not alone, whatever is happening to you whether that is personally or professionally, it’s important to remember that we are not going through this life alone. That moment resonates with me to this day and just like Jimmy V, perhaps my personal story will inspire you to never give up.  

After my NFL career came to an end, I had a terrible injury that left me completely disabled; unable to walk on my own for nearly a decade.  My lowest point in that journey was a time in my young, married life with my wife and my two young children, ages 1 and 3 years old. My wife, who had been my sole caregiver as my hips had rotted through the flesh, propped me up against the side of a building in West Texas as she pushed a mattress into a storage unit which we called home for about four months.  On our first night there, I turned to my wife and said “what’s wrong with you? I am broke and broken and you need to leave me”.  At that point in time I felt like I was just dragging down the lives of my wife and children. Her response to me at that moment was “I made a promise to you and a promise to God and everything is going to be okay”. This was the first time in my life that I was speechless. I thought I knew what toughness and strength was but seeing my wife in that moment made me redefine everything.  

Ultimately my wife’s strength in Christ helped her power through these times and because of her, my attitude and will to push through comes from my faith in Christ.  My hope in telling this story is that when we go through hard times, we have to embrace the grind. 

Fast forward, I have created two successful businesses, which at this point is an amazing outcome however I cannot skip over the journey, sacrifices and grind it took to get here. We had every reason to make an excuse for our situation but we didn’t, we kept powering through and finding a way to win.  Sometimes when everything is against you, you have to find a way to win. This doesn’t mean that once you get through a tough spot or see some success that you’ve overcome all the obstacles life will have to throw at you.

It is a conscious decision to win, embrace the grind and continue to push through every day.  

During these times, we can all use a little bit of hope and a reminder that we are all human facing difficulties.  Every day when you wake up and choose to push through the adversity or challenges you are facing, know that you will come out on top.  You cannot accept “no”. You have to push through and find a way to win. It’s there, I promise you.

Brian DeMarco

Author Brian DeMarco

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