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Tackling life

Former Patriot Shamiel Gary motivates Beaty students

Times Observer photo by Kate CataldoAll eyes were on former New England Patriot Gary Shamiel as he engaged the students at Beaty Warren Middle School. Since his retiring, he travels all over the country in an effort to motivate young people to push themselves to their full potential.

What if we knew we didn’t have tomorrow? Would you do anything different today?

Former NFL player and motivational speaker Shamiel Gary visited Beaty Warren Middle School for the first time to share with students the importance of perseverance when facing your fears and chasing your dreams.

Gary has played for multiple NFL teams including the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, and ended his career with the Buffalo Bills. Since his retirement he travels to speak and mentor young people all around the country.

While in the NFL his mother was diagnosed with cancer. Gary was able to spend time with her until she was able to get surgery while he was out with an injury. During the off-season with the Bills, his mother’s cancer returned.

It was through this time he spent with her when he learned about his mother’s regrets and guilt from the past. He vowed in that moment he would never allow himself, or anyone else, to live that way. He now influences all walks of life to “dig deep” and “live each day as a new day.”

Times Observer photo by Kate Cataldo All eyes were on former New England Patriot Gary Shamiel as he engaged the students at Beaty Warren Middle School. Since his retiring, he travels all over the country in an effort to motivate young people to push themselves to their full potential.

The Beaty students were immediately engaged with all eyes on Gary. He opens up by sharing with the group some of his favorite activities, which include a good game of bowling, reading books, and practicing jiu jitsu. He also likes to try new things, and recently realized there are a lot of valuable life lessons you can learn through skydiving.

One reason he gave was getting out of your comfort zone. Gary said he was told by his guide, “if your parachute doesn’t work, you will die,” and though that was scary for him it did not stop him from jumping out of the plane.

He stressed the importance of pushing yourself. “There is so much potential here,” Gary said when talking to the students. “We all have that inner voice in our heads telling us we can’t do something.”

This is why it’s important to support one another. “We all need friends and our community to help sometimes,” said Gary. He challenged the students to start talking to their friends and family about goals and fears and to start encouraging each other.

Gary believes it all starts with a plan or a goal. If you find you are too afraid of failure or scared to do it alone, that through mentoring and coaching, anything is possible.

According to him, people see what you do and not what you say. Gary wants everyone to know that planning is so important and it can all start with one simple goal that you can keep building on. Failing to plan is planning to fail, he said.

Gary shared something that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady would say which was to “master the fundamentals.” He asserts that a growth mentality will keep you pushing past your comfort zone and on the road to success.

Gary wanted the students to discover the power within themselves to go out into the world and be better. He motivates in the hopes that others will be able to maximize each day.

At the end, he told the students to remember to never leave their fate in the hands of tomorrow.

“If it is meant to be, then it is up to me.” he said.

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