When You Think You Can’t Make It One More Day

Are there moments in your life when you think “I simply cannot make it another day?”  When those times of fear and frustration set in, I want you to remember the story of Dennis Byrd.  Dennis played defensive line for the New York Jets from 1989-92 when his career was tragically cut short due to a spinal injury (see picture above).

Dennis had collided with another teammate on November 29, 1992 and was immediately unable to move his limbs from the neck down.  However, ten weeks later he held a press conference and walked out of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Current Jets head coach Rex Ryan asked Dennis to speak to the team prior to their recent playoff game against the New England Patriots.  Still feeling the effects of his injury, the following are some of the quotes from that pre-game speech courtesy of ESPN.

  1. “Life has its everyday struggles.”
  2. “For the last 18 years I’ve still been competing.”
  3. “A man has a body, a mind, and a spirit.  There are times in a man’s life when his body will tell him he cannot go on.  Where his mind will tell him the task set for him is too hard for him to accomplish.  Those two don’t matter.  It’s a man’s will, a man’s spirit that will tell him you can do it.  And it will make the mind and body follow along.”
  4. “Every physical possession I have, if I were to have the genuine opportunity to trade them in for one more game, one more play, I would do it.”

The following comments were posted by WR Braylon Edwards on his Twitter account shortly after the speech:

“I just heard the most inspirational message of my life from former jet Dennis Byrd, who suffered a career ending neck injury…As God is my witness I have never been more ready to perform in my life. Dennis Byrd I respect, salute, and honor you.”

There is a sign in the Jets’ offices that states “Make Today Your Day”.  Dennis, your life inspires us. Thank you for reminding us that not only can we make it another day, we can make today our day.  

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About Brian Dodd on Leadership

I am a church stewardship and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. This blog combines my personal passions of church, sports, pop culture and family into a single leadership resource. I trust your time on this site will create conversations and add value to your life.

3 Responses to “When You Think You Can’t Make It One More Day”

  1. Brian – I was able to record this video of Dennis last Saturday before the AFC Championship. His humbleness, politeness and the way he signed every childs item was amazing to see first hand. – Erik (JetsTwit.com)

    http://jetstwit.com/2011/01/22/i-just-spent-15-minutes-talking-to-dennis-byrd/

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