I am a big sports fan, I watch all of it. What I love most about watching any sort of athletic broadcast is learning the back stories of the athletes–learning what they went through to get to where they are today.

During Monday Night Football this week, there were amazing stories featured about players on both sides of the football. I have been following the journey of Shaquem Griffin for some time. Griffin is a twin from UCF (his brother plays for Seattle too!), who as a toddler has one of his hands amputated. He was the first player drafted into the NFL with an amputated hand. What moved my heart about this piece was all the kids featured who beamed when talking about their admiration for Griffin. These kids also had a physical ailment as Griffin did, but also were determined to not let it stop them, like Griffin.

There is something so special about finding someone who shares your story. We see it at camp and in our Sand Dollar Clubs every time; something happens when you learn that you are not alone.

In my own grief journey, nothing helped me more than reading memoirs from people who lost loved ones. The physical after effects, the psychological battles, and just the painful passing of time were normalized for me in reading others’ stories. I learned that I am not alone and not out of the ordinary.

Who would benefit from learning about you? What story do you have to share? Who’s story has helped you?

We all have experiences of immense value and by keeping it inside, we do the world no good. Live life fully by building community and learn that you are not alone in so many aspects.