One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?”
The Lord replied,
“The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you.”
This week I start my blog out with this poem because it sums up everything. It is one of my favorite poems and when I read it, I realize that things in life happen for a reason and that if you keep your faith good things will happen. Right now it is not fun being a Redskin but at the same time I love being one. I wouldn’t change anything for the world. I often get asked by reporters, do I regret coming back. My answer has been and always will be “No” and I plan on coming back as long as the team will have me. My goal is to win a Super Bowl ring and until that happens, I’m not satisfied. I really enjoy going out with my teammates and competing and I also enjoy running out onto the field with a bunch of loud Redskins fans screaming for a victory. Even though things aren’t going right for us as a team, I am still proud to say I’m a Redskin. In saying all of this, I don’t by no means want anyone to say I’m giving up because as long as I can play football I will give it all that I got to turn this thing around. I’m 100% sure my teammates feel the same way. We must take it one play at a time and then one game at a time.
“I think we all wish we could erase some dark times in our lives. But all of life’s experiences, bad and good, make you who you are. Erasing any of life’s experiences would be a great mistake.” — Luis Miguel
The Philly game was a game of mistakes. Mistakes can cost you a win and I think that is what happened during the game. As a team, we have to limit or get rid of the mistakes that end up costing us points. Nobody makes a mistake on purpose and if they learn from their mistakes it makes them and us better down the road. Big plays also hurt us during the game and we knew that Philly thrives on the big play and they got two against our defense and I hate it when that happens. Overall, I thought it was a hard-fought game and in the end they made a few more plays than we did. We had a golden opportunity to do something special on Monday night and we let it slip through our hands. At least we have them on the schedule one more time this year and hopefully this time it goes in our favor.
We travel to Atlanta this week and Atlanta will be a tough opponent as well. They are good on both offense and defense so this has got to be a good week of practice. I think that with the bye, everyone got recharged and ready to regroup and turn things around. Not only do you get to go back and see our mistakes during the season, a bye also gives you a chance to heal the body and come back fresh. I think the bye was much needed and everybody needed a break away from football. Because of the bye, it gave us a chance to look at Atlanta a little bit more and I think that we are ready to go down and give it our best shot at victory. One play at a time and one game at a time.
The bye couldn’t have come at a better time. It actually gave me an opportunity to go home and spend time with the family in Illinois. I saw my son’s first playoff game and I also got a chance to take my kids trick-or-treating. It was a fun time with my son’s team winning 48-0 and my children enjoying having me around to go house to house and get a bunch of candy. I even dressed up as The Joker and I’m so sorry if I scared the little children walking around in the streets. Lol. My wife and I also hosted my son’s football team’s dinner on Friday night before the game. My wife cooked a lot of chicken that night and she had to in order to feed 60 plus football players. Man did they eat everything but especially the chicken and the macaroni & cheese. Can you believe they ate 3 huge pans of chicken which was about 300 pieces and 5 large pans of the mac & cheese. Man were they hungry or shall I say “greedy”? They had a great time and we have joked that because they beat the team 48-0 that we might have to host again this week but we will pass. Lol.
I wanted to do something a little different this week in my blog. I have asked the Griffin family to write something for my blog and they could write whatever they wanted. When I say Griffin family, I don’t mean Cornelius, my teammate. If you remember in my earlier blog, I talked about a young woman named Lauren who was in a bad car accident and used me as inspiration to fight back and get back on her rowing team at George Mason University. Well my wife and I have become really close to their family and upon hearing her story she actually became my motivation to keep going. The Griffin family members are David, the dad, Lisa, the mom, Kim, the youngest daughter, who is 16 and attends J.W. Robinson secondary school in Fairfax, Va. and of course the young hero Lauren, who is 19. Both daughters compete on their school’s row team and are doing an amazing job. Below are what they added to my blog this week. They are a great group of people and I’m really glad to be associated with them in so many ways. I would like to thank each one of them for writing something to add to my blog. You never know when I will ask someone reading this to add something next so stay alert. Lol
I would like to write a book. Perhaps one day I will. For now, the Daniels family has graciously allowed my family to express a few of our thoughts on his page. Before I get too far ahead of myself, let me first introduce myself and my family. My name is Dave, my wife Lisa and our daughters are Lauren and Kim. We became acquainted with Phillip and Leslie after members of each of our families became sidelined by injury. Later, we became aware of each other’s stories and with continued faith and perseverance, both athletes returned to their starting roles. At first we were in awe by the professional football player. Since that time we’ve come to know the modest man. He’s not “Hollywood,” he’s not “celebrity” and there isn’t any drama. He’s a hard working, grounded, “giver”, and a devoted father and husband. On the football field, he gives everything he has. He is the “Real Deal.” I don’t intend to over-play “divine intervention” to describe the circumstances that led to our acquaintance because I do believe divinity can be found in common forms and can be easily found in the daily lives of everyone. Even in difficult times, I still believe that life itself is divine. I believe that happiness is not automatic and is most often based on relationships and on people who strive to make a difference in the lives of others. I don’t diminish the role of pain, sadness, and sorrow in our lives because it is with that same human capacity (emotion) that we are able to appreciate pleasure, happiness or joy. We cannot appreciate one without the capacity to endure the other. The painful side of human emotion is the cross we have to bear for the privilege to live in this world, to reflect upon our own existence and most importantly, to actually have a chance to pursue happiness in this physical world. Since happiness isn’t automatic, it is important for all of us to seize the opportunities in life to make a difference in the lives of others even if it’s just to take the time to speak. Phil takes the time and is one of those people who makes a difference. He is compassionate and a man of faith with an open mind (I call this “latitude”) and a positive attitude. He lets his “latitude be his attitude” and he’s one of those people who will be measured not only by the difference he made in his own life but by the differences he made in the lives of others.
When Phil gave us the chance to include our thoughts in his blog, I knew exactly what I wanted to say. Honestly, I do not believe that Phil even realizes how much of an impact that he has had on our family. Our daughter, Lauren, was in a terrible car accident and has since recovered quite well, amazingly! Phil reached out his heart, lifted us up and gave us hope when we needed it the most, especially for my husband and I who are still working on getting rid of the “what ifs.” Parents aren’t as resilient as teenagers. Phil shared his passion for rehab and “pushing” to overcome his injury. Nothing was going to stop him from his passion in life and he encouraged her to do the same with her college rowing. When Phil and Leslie visited our home it was a huge deal, they were so warm and compassionate and after getting over the initial shock of having a celebrity couple in our home, we settled in and had some great conversation. We shared our thoughts and feelings of what is really important in life. Don’t let anyone tell you that you won’t be changed after a close call with tragedy. You realize what is important in life and who you want to surround yourself with. I believe that as we go through this life, at some point, we all cross paths with people who will forever change us. Phil and Leslie are those people. God Bless them.
My last fall season regatta was Sunday, November 1st. My team and I were so excited but also very sad because it would be the last fall regatta with the seniors. We knew that this was the last race so we wanted to make it the best. We were pumped and ready to win. We had been undefeated all season at the Occoquan River and wanted to keep it up. The races are such a fun experience. All the boats in the event line up in order of their assigned numbers. They start the boats one by one and as you go along the race course, your goal is to pass the boats in front of you and keep the boats behind you, behind! The results aren’t about who passes the finish line first, it’s who has the better time. I love the feeling you get as you pass a boat, you get such an adrenaline rush and you want to push harder. Then, when you reach the finish, all you want to know is what your time is. When we finished our race and put the boat and oars away, we all waited to see what the results were. Finally, when the results came we all looked in close to find our name on the results sheet. We got second place. We had lost to the winning team by one second. That could have been caused by anything; a wake, bad set in the boat or just one less stroke. After we all talked about the race and how disappointed we were that we lost, we had to think about our fall season. We had had some good laughs in the boat, we had difficult practices that made us stronger and we got to go to Boston. Getting second didn’t matter because we had a very fun and successful season. I wouldn’t have cared either way because I will always love my team and I know that when I start the spring season I will think back to how hard and fun the fall season was and I will be able to push myself even more! I made some good friends during the season and to me that’s all that counts. Winning was awesome but I couldn’t have done any of it without my team!
I love coaching. I love the idea that I’m sharing what I love with young kids with so much potential. Rowing is a growing sport all over the country and is a team bonding sport unlike any other. I started rowing my freshman year of high school. Throughout my four years of high school rowing I made the best of friends and had the greatest times. Rowing makes you depend on your teammates. One stroke off could be the difference between winning and losing. After my car accident, I was asked to come back and help coach my high school novice team. This provided me with a way of getting back into rowing while I was still recovering. I think it really helped me mentally because the kids I was coaching have tremendous potential and their potential inspired me to get back to work. In addition to the kids, hearing about Phil’s success, helped me realize that one can come back from an injury even stronger than before and to “push” despite the skeptics. My own former high school and current George Mason University coaches are passionate about the sport and have really made my rowing experience a success. I try to bring that passion to the kids I coach. My high school coaches were the ones who inspired me to continue to row at the college level at GMU after graduating from high school. Now that I have recovered from my injuries and have returned as a rower for GMU, I continue to coach because I want to share my passion for rowing with others. I want these kids to enjoy good times like I did and to be able to get great exercise while having fun.
Very nice by everyone. Let’s stay together Skin family and turn this thing around. Tomorrow is a brand new day. No need to look back because there is nothing you can do about yesterday. HTTR
Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain.
Fall seven times, stand up eight. —Japanese Proverb
Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Phillip Daniels