Sunday, March 18, 2012 at approx. 1:30 PM I went for my weigh in. I had lost another 5lbs and instantly I became uninspired and unmotivated. I started reflecting over the last month on what I ate and how much I exercised. I couldn’t believe all the work I put in and all I lost was 5lbs. Are my efforts all for nothing? Then I started thinking about my foundation and how I feel I hit a wall. Donations are not rolling in and I was not sure how much more I can pay for, I have a handful of consistent volunteers, 10K/5K date had to be change, and I was becoming more and more intolerable of people not keeping their word. So, I was ready to just put things on the back burner and think about me for a change. I did an interview on Thursday that was still fresh in my head asking me what motivates and inspires me to keep going. I told the interviewer the success of others and divine intervention keeps me going, but I was really lacking motivation.
Majority of the time, I keep things to myself and I go through the struggle by myself. I appreciate the words of encouragement from everyone, but I go through a process where I am the hardest on myself and have to work through it until I see a solution. Later Sunday, I had my board meeting and received more encouragement from a couple of members and they told me I really should be proud of what I have accomplished physically, mentally, health, and community wise and they are in it to win it. It was reassuring, but it was not enough. I knew I had 3 meetings the next day, so I needed to start prepare to convince others why they need to join LEGACY, but I wasn’t sure if I was still convince.
As I was getting things together for the meeting, one of my board members finished the new website and uploaded it. I felt a little excited and encouraged others to view the new website before I went to bed. As I went to bed the weather changed and I had started feeling bad. I got ready to get up early to go workout and the morning workout was canceled and I was happy because I still had a headache. I slept two more hours and then I got up to get ready for the first meeting.
I sat at the meeting and I listened to the first two presenters. That actually was beneficial because I got a chance to meet the Deputy of Parks and Rec which was a person I needed to meet. The second person was with a mobile Farmers market and was another contact that has the potential to lead to a partnership. Now it was time for me to give my presentation and that’s when Jonathan kicked in. I talked about LEGACY. I talked about what we have accomplished in the last year. I talked about the 85-90 % success rate of our tutoring program. I talked about how we have inspired a parent to go back to get her college degree, I talked about how we worked with a student who was assess incorrectly and got him on the right educational plan, I talked about how we have a 13 y/o certified genius and his 14 y/o sister that is considered a genius tutoring with LEGACY. I talked about how I am mentoring them, so they can become leaders. I talked him up to the Black Archives of Mid-America. I saw again why I am doing this and how I have to keep going. It was time to leave, so I could prepare for the next meeting. I checked my messages and found out our Student of the month had been accepted into Duke’s summer program, the very same young man I talked about moments before.
I get to the next meeting and one of the students excitedly said “Your Big Jon and you are here for the meeting, I’ve heard about you.” I almost felt like a rock star, but I said. “Yes, I’m little Jon and thank you” During the meeting, I gave the same overview of LEGACY. The recipients were impress and start brainstorming on how we can work together. Also will provide space for some of LEGACY programs. Again, I was getting my groove back.
Tuesday, March 20, I went to talk to the mother of our Student of the Month and we brainstormed on how we can raise the funds for this young man can go the Duke this summer. While there I learned his 14 y/o sister (Future Student of the Month) is going to school for directing. She has made a few YouTube SIMs videos. I asked her if she wants to go to play rehearsal, so she can videotape and put together promo videos. We will promote her skills and she can use the videos for her school assignments. She is VERY talented in her own rights.
Wednesday, March 21 I went to go workout and I hit the walk. We start doing a different workout to assess where I am and to see how we can burn more. For some reason, I was drained and could not work. My trainer Corey Phillips said, “Come on Jon, man do you know how far you have come. I’ve done this for 10 years. This is to be expected. I’ve seen it last from 2 weeks to 2 months it is up to you and where your mind is at. If you keep going hard we will knock this out in no time. Jon, you see that female over there she said, “Man! Corey he has lost a lot of weight.” So Jon let’s GO!” So he try to assess me first at the rate he uses for himself and then he did my actual assessment. I got it knocked out.
After the workout, I was outside and business owners from next door were outside, so I asked them, “What was the soup of the day?” That led to a conversation, so the young lady asked, “What I did for a living?” I told them “I am the CEO/Founder of a foundation.” I gave them a brief description and accomplishments of LEGACY. The young lady said, “You just inspired me” and the young man said “I’ve always wanted to give back.” I ask, “What is stopping you? You just need time. These youth have people in and out of their lives, they need people who are consistent and not more people to come in and leave.” He said, “Well, I am sure you do a background check and I have gotten into trouble.” I told him, “Yes we do, but you can be used in some capacity. You have a story to tell. You can tell students what not to do. You can tell students how you over came adversity and now you own a business. Many times people think because I was not a good student or I got into trouble, I have nothing to contribute. If you have time, you have something to contribute. We play to your strength. We have people to stand in the gap. I might be good in Math, this person might be good in English, we use what we have and work to the benefit of the students. We have tutored in Physics, Drama, Musical instruments, and we can use you to tell your story so we can stop youth violence. Everyone has a story.” I left feeling my motivation and inspiration had returned.
As adults we hit the wall and wonder how and why we should keep going. Our youth face the same obstacles. It is up to us to place them in different environments sometimes, so they can recognize their growth. When they are able to articulate to others where they have come from and where they are going it sometimes benefit the youth the most because they actually hear for themselves how much they have accomplish and how their future goals seem so bright and attainable.