Jake Hammond

One of my favorite places to be in the world is on the baseball field,

 with my arm around the shoulders of a player right after they made a horrible play.  While the coach is yelling from the sidelines, I am helping them to understand – one bad play doesn’t define you as a player or a person- learn from that mistake and be better. That is something that I have definitely learned over the years here at RHP and Renaissance. 

Everyone in every high school across America has struggles. This time in our life is all about overcoming those and finding out who we really are.  While we are doing that sometimes we make some bad choices. I have made a few really bad decisions. These choices were ultimately discovered by the school and my parents and have had some far-reaching consequences like limiting my choices for college.

But I can’t say that I fully regret making that fateful wrong choice.  When the news broke, it was like my eyes were opened. The statement, “choices have consequences” hit home when I faced the possible outcome of losing this school and seeing the disappointment in my mother’s face. It was then that I made the full commitment to myself that I would learn from that mistake and be better.

I started with my physical shape because I just didn’t feel good. I woke up every day at 5 am and ran for 2 miles. I cleaned my diet of all sugar and starch. I did core exercises. I lifted weights. I did everything I was supposed to do - and then I landed in the hospital due to leg weakness and back pain. This threw me into a spiral of late work that I am still trying to dig myself out of.

I know now that I should have been doing these things for the last 5 years as everyone had been trying to tell me.  But sometimes in life, it takes hitting bottom several times to realize that you do have the ability to pick yourself back up.  And when you do, you have to be able to whisper to yourself, one bad play - or even a few bad plays - doesn’t define you as a player or a person; learn from it and be better.