I was struck this morning after watching a “Good Morning America” segment on an extraordinarily, tenacious young man named Austin Woods. Woods is an offensive lineman for the Oklahoma Sooners. In late April, Woods was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of blood cancer. The required, bi-monthly chemotherapy sessions seemingly would end his football season. Woods however was determined to not allow the cancer to dictate his life.
Not only did he successfully battle his cancer (he is currently in remission) he managed to be named an academic All-American. Woods said: “it was my teammates, my coaches, my family and all my friends. It was truly a team effort.” His teammates shaved their heads in solidarity.
Maintain a normal work/school life wasn’t that abnormal in the Woods family. His mother never missed a day of work while successfully undergoing chemo for breast cancer. He drew inspiration from his strong mother.
On Friday, Woods completed a life-long dream and played in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Although his team loss 41-13 to Texas A&M Woods still thinks he triumphed this year. And I happen to agree with him. Woods states: “It really taught me a lot about myself and what, you know, attitude and the right mentality can do towards overcoming obstacles in your life.”
It is because of his tenacity and unrelenting perseverance that I have chosen to dedicate my praise of the week to him. After learning about his triumph it snaps you back to reality every time you complain about the little things in life. If this man can undergo chemo treatments and excel on and off the field then I have no excuses.