Growing up, we all had ambitions of landing that dream career. You know the one we talked about whenever our teachers would ask what we wanted to be when we grew up. Well, often that dream gets altered or it takes a long time to reach because life gets in the way. Some of us enter the workforce to earn a paycheck at a job we do not love but simply need to survive.
For those who constantly chase their dream in hopes of one day reaching it, no matter the cost, the ‘grind’ becomes their job. They never give up chasing that career they told Mrs. Ervin in the fourth grade they would have one day.
Michael Douglas (24) of Nashville, Tenn. is currently in ‘grind mode’ to obtain a shot at earning a paycheck from his dream career. Michael is chasing the dream of becoming an NFL player. For nearly two weeks, he has been standing outside of Nissan Stadium (where the Tennessee Titans play their games) holding a sign asking for a shot to show coaches that his talent could help their team.
Due to circumstances outside of his control, he didn’t get drafted and is now, like many others, looking to become a part of a team before training camp starts in July. The difference in his journey and others’ is he doesn’t want to accept the answer ‘no.’ Along with standing outside the stadium with his sign, he has gone to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in hopes of getting discovered and getting a shot. His post was shared among several people, and this is how I came across him.
I decided I wanted to help him reach his goal, so I added him on Facebook. I then arranged a meeting to take some photos to help his cause. When I met Michael, I noticed he has the height and build that could potentially help him get on a team. The Titans were 2-14 last season, so I do not see them giving someone a chance to succeed—an issue that could harm them. Since locals know and love him, this helps make Michael be more marketable. He represents that hard working mentality like so many of us throughout our city.
In talking with Michael, he said that when he was growing up playing football was an escape from the dangerous Dodge City projects. He saw many of his peers taken through incarceration or drugs. Michael goes on to inform me that he has no plans to give up on his dream.
He wants to set an example for everyone that if you want something bad enough, you need to continue to work for it. He describes this mentality as his way to help others possibly reach their dreams, even after life has stepped in and halted progress.
If you want to follow Michael’s journey, find him on Facebook and ‘friend’ him. Hopefully, we can help him get recognized. It would be nice to see someone reach their dreams, restoring faith in humanity that so many believe has been lost.