Chris Carlisle, head strength and conditioning coach for the Seattle Seahawks, has an inspiring story to teach to the WinForever devoted.
Carlisle was born with a malfunction in both of his feet. In fact, his doctor told his mother that he would never be able to run like the rest of the kids. However, he made his way through collegiate schooling with scholarships in football, basketball and baseball.
On a similar note, Carlisle had his two front teeth knocked out at a young age. Because of this, he developed a lisp and stutter—and was forced to enroll in speech classes. The teacher said he’d never be a public speaker. Today, he speaks to thousands of people each year.
“I never allowed what other people said about me or what was going to happen to me,” Carlisle told WinForever. “They never limited me in what I knew I could do.”
Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in November of 2000. Fortunately, doctors found it very early. At this same time, he was looking for a new position with a new team. One of the positions available was to be the head strength and conditioning coach for Texas Christian University. However, they didn’t call back after they found out he had just been diagnosed with cancer.
He then got a call from a giddy and excited Coach Pete Carroll, who tried to woo Carlisle to the University of Southern California. During a visit at USC, Carlisle admitted to Carroll that he had been recently diagnosed with cancer. When Carroll looked at him and asked if that would change him as a coach, Carlisle responded with a swift ‘no sir,’ Carroll asked Carlisle to report on Monday.
That was a turning point of his life and was another opportunity where he didn’t allow what people say affects his life. In this case, the nurse had told him he would be sick, would lose his hair and wouldn’t be able to work. He didn’t lose all his hair, remained upbeat and worked all the way through the trials.
“When you start allowing people to tell you who you are, and what you’re going to be, it’s going to limit you from who you can be,” said Carlisle. “And that’s one of those things I’ve carried my whole life from starting as a high school coach, going to a junior college, then a Division-1 assistant to a Division-1 head strength coach—and now I’m in the NFL.”
“From the meager beginnings all the way to the top of the game, it never stopped or slowed me down.”
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Brian Wagner is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California, where he was the Head Student Manager and operations assistant for the USC football team.
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