by Kerry Taylor
I have my head back on straight and have been performing better up to this point, finishing off our last mini camp before training camp feeling very confident in myself and my abilities. I couldn't wait to strap the pads back on and see what another year of experience, training and learning has done for me.
Beep...beep...beep...beep! The alarm went off at 5am. I jumped out of bed that morning ready to rock and roll and get training camp started. I left the house in an amazingly great and confident mood. Pulled up to the stadium, waved at the security guy (that might have been Jim Houle back then) as I drove in on cloud 9. Kind of like those commercials where everything just has you feeling on top of the world. I hopped out of the car, walked down to my locker to put my stuff away. I said hello to a few teammates and headed upstairs to our Training Camp Kick Off Meeting ready to get this season underway. I hit that top step, took a turn around the corner with a couple of the guys and one of the staff members started small talk with me about training camp.
And then it happened..."Kerry, Coach Belichick would like to see you." I felt so good and positive that day that I just figured he wanted to have a brief chat with me about their expectations for me. Ha! Who was I kidding? I walked over to the coaches office, took a seat and it began, yet again!
Coach B: "Kerry, we have six people at your position. Unfortunately, we are only going to bring five in to camp. You're the odd man out."
Me: "Really this sh!t is happening again?!" I thought. "Thank you for the opportunity coach. Is there anything I could have done better?"
Coach B: "No, you did everything right, you're just the odd man out."
WTF! Gimme something, odd man out! Are you serious?? I had that moment that we all may have had at some point, or maybe it's just me, that black out moment. I envisioned myself getting up and saying my piece and then reality came back. I stood up and said, "thank you coach," and walked out. I grabbed my stuff from my locker and drove around the rest of the day aimlessly trying to get my thoughts together and search for an answer.
Crazy how a day can start out great and end so disappointing. I finally got myself together and drove home to let my mother know what had happened. I dragged my feet, walked in with my head down, sulking. Not only did I just get released, the dream I had of buying my mom a huge home seemed so far away. I told her the news and in true Donna Taylor fashion, "I know you feel bad right now, but oh well. Their loss! Keep your head up and get back to work. If you want it to happen, keep working hard to make it happen," while giving me a huge hug.
The first hurdle was over, now I was going to have to tell people I was released. Man! I didn't leave my house for 2 weeks because of my disappointment. I felt I let all the kids that looked up to me and asked me for my autograph down. The one kid I didn't want to disappoint was my younger brother. And I felt like that's what I just did.
But, as they say, when one door closes another opens. Will another door open? Check out part 12 and see what happens. Until next time, continue to live life one degree above the rest.