I was just in 10th grade when an older guy at my school offered me a drink. He happened to be one of my role models; a guy I looked up to and strived to be like.He was the captain of the varsity basketball team when I was just a sophomore playing behind him. On and off the court I thought this guy was the real deal because he had accomplished and overcome so much. I was forced to make a decision that day. One that would effect me for the rest of my life.

Ever since second grade (when I moved from California to Georgia) I have grown up with the same group of people.Some people moved away, some people moved in, but I have always had the same group of friends. Over all this time I have been forced to make many choices. Choices that were essential to the success of my career as a student athlete.One of these choices, which I made that day at the gym, was to not drink alcohol until I was of age. I had seen many of the people that I was close with start to drink, and the way they were turning out made me realize that it was not something that I wanted to put my identity in. I was raised in a Christian home by two parents who cared and always will care about me, so ever since I was little I was taught to follow the rules and live a life that is glorifying to God in everything that I do; however, not knowing that they only wanted the best for me, the boundaries that my parents enforced would only ever make me mad.I wanted to rebel and do what they didn’t want me to do. I had to learn how to be independent, while sustaining a level of respect and obedience. As much as they restricted me from being tempted into doing these things, at the end of the day I would find myself in situations when it was only up to me to make the right decision.

That day at the gym a choice had to be made and there was only two options. I could follow the decisions my “role model” was making and ignore the consequences, or I could be independent and s…

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