by Kerry Taylor
I was having a conversation the other day on how I ended up moving to the suburbs of Mansfield from the city of Boston. It was a decision my mother made that would forever change the course of my life.
Cue the super-wavy flashback effect, music and let's go back 27 years. Wow, 27 years! Hahaha. I used to attend Latin Academy, which at the time was located right behind Fenway Park and I lived in Jamaica Plain. I had to take public transportation to and from school. My travel time was roughly 45 minutes-1 hour each way. I enjoyed my trips to and from school, mostly because of the freedom I had when it was time to go home after school. There were a lot of detours to the arcade after school or checking out a Red Sox game when they were playing. Man, that was a good time, Galaga, Pac-Man, Rampage, Centipede, Tekken, Donkey Ko...sorry, let me get back on track.
One cold winter day, late in January it happened. I was walking home from Forest Hills Station, listening to MC Hammer on my Walkman, wearing my new Nikes and Triple Fat Goose jacket. When I walked in the door, my mother asked me this crucial question:
"If someone tried to take your sneakers or jacket from you, what would you do?" (I had just gotten them as gifts for Christmas and my birthday)
My reply: "Mom, you didn't raise me to be a punk and let people take my things. I would fight them, you gave those to me. And if it was a group of kids, I would pick up the closest thing to me and hit them with it."
Well ladies and gentlemen, that was the wrooooong answer, or right answer depending on how you look it. As soon as the school year was over, I was sent to visit my aunt in Mansfield. I thought it was just a usual, going to visit auntie type trip. But, as the summer went on, that was not the case. I was sent out there to make new friends and get comfortable while my mother found us a place to live and get me set up for school.
As the years passed, I decided to ask my mother, "was there any particular reason that we moved to Mansfield?" She proceeded to tell me the story of what happened that day before I walked in the door from school and she asked me that oh-important question. She happened to be watching the news before I came home. The news story she just saw was about a kid around my age getting jumped and murdered for his sneakers and Triple Fat Goose jacket. So, when I walked in the door, she said to herself, "We're moving because they aren't getting my son." The rest is history.
I share this story with all of you because, at the time, I was not happy about moving. I threw my share of fits and tantrums about it. As a kid you never really understand some of the decisions your parents make for you. You just want things your way and that's it. But, as I got older I could understand my mother's decisions more. That one decision helped me get into sports which helped me go to college which led to living a dream of playing in the NFL which led me to follow and find my passion for coaching and working with people through fitness.
Thanks Mom for making that decision. It opened up many doors for me to succeed in life. And to all the mothers out there, thank you! The job you have is the most important job on the planet and also the most difficult job on the planet, and you do not receive a check at the end of each week for it! Keep being the amazing mothers you can be, you are the glue that keeps the world together!
Until next time, continue to live a life 1 degree above the rest!