Editor’s Note: We’ve asked a select few athletes who we’ve featured on Purpose2Play to write about who inspires them. Up first is SaraMae Hollandsworth, a former college runner who lost her feet to sepsis, but became a more well-rounded athlete because of it. Our feature story on her was published in November of 2016.
When I was asked to write for a Purpose2Play series called “Who Inspires the Inspiring,” I was humbled and moderately overwhelmed. I realized that I was meant to be ‘The Inspiring’ part of the equation — something I’m still getting used to.
I love everything that this publication stands for and eagerly await each article they share. That’s because inspiration has been a huge part of my life. I was the super jovial child who would turn down social invites in favor of trips to the library, where I would walk out just past close with influential books toppling out of my arms.
I would sit intently watching Rocky IV (and the entire Rocky franchise) over and over again, devouring as many biographies and autobiographies as I possibly could. I would listen to the Rocky soundtrack on repeat before every single track meet.
I have to credit much of these character traits to my Maker. Beyond that, I have to credit my dad.
Before I proceed, I would like to reference something that Tony Robbins said which speaks to my
core. He said, “If you’re gonna blame people for all the shit, you better blame them for all the good, too.”
And, that would be a good place to dive into this complicated yet significant topic. Let me present a disclaimer: You will not get all of the story, but you will get the part that is relevant here.
I didn’t intend to go this direction, but the more I sat with it, the more I realized, there is simply no other answer.
I had a complicated childhood, as many of us do. My father was an alcoholic and drug addict until the time I was five, when he entered a rehab facility and got sober. Although young, I have various memories of this time period.
I recall my mother and I leaving my dad to go stay with my grandparents while he went to rehab. I was confused, yet content. That was kind of the theme of my part in “the play.” I always made the best of whatever dynamic I was a part of. I lifted those around me. Part of it was a burden I placed on myself and part of it was my nature.
I recall leaving my dad on the side of the highway once and demanding we pick him up. I remember him ripping shirts off his back for dramatics, and throwing our entire dish set through the wall. I recollect the subsequent hole that remained and the unspoken meaning it held.
Then there were the various odd characters he brought into our home and the “microwave science experiments” a.k.a. the drug rituals.
I remember us getting into a car wreck or two and riding with him in an ambulance while I cried out for my mom.
I recall him reading to me and staying up with me when my mom worked the graveyard…