I learned a very valuable lesson from a very important person in my life: my Dad.

My Dad was a very talented athlete when he was in high school. When I meet old coaches of his, they tell me he was an awesome player and he had great character. They also say he had colleges calling about him all of the time. I thought this was very weird because my dad didn’t go to college. So, one day, I went to ask my dad why he didn’t go to these colleges. He just told me to stay away from bad crowds because they will get you in trouble. Learning more of his story taught me one of the most important lessons of my life.

One Saturday night, after a big state championship baseball game against Gwinnett County, my state-championship-baseball-playing dad decided he wanted to go out and get drunk. Of course, my grandparents told him to do as they tell him and not go out but my dad disobeyed them and did it anyway. Why my dad did this I will never know. One thing I will always remember is my grandpa telling me the night your father disobeyed me was the last time he would ever do it again. On the way home from the party my dad was drunk out of his mind: I mean he was hammered. He got pulled over by the cops in front of the place where my grandparents were at: a little old church in Oconee County. Ironically, they had been there for a Saturday night revival and on the way out spotted my dad in handcuffs. The officer was my grandpa’s college roommate and when he saw my grandpapa he took my dad out of handcuffs and handed him over to my grandpapa.

That night my dad didn’t get punished but I promise you one thing: the next morning he most certainly did. Just say my dad couldn’t sit down for about a week. This is why my dad says “Don’t make the mistakes I did!” to me all the time. This incident was how, in the end, my dad lost his full ride scholarship to play baseball at Mississippi State University. I thank god for watching over my dad so he didn’t get arrested. It saved my dad’s life pretty much and it’s saved mine too. The way it saved mine is by knowing there are consequences in doing drugs and alcohol; you don’t want to sabotage and defeat yourself by throwing away your best years and best opportunities.