The best torture I’ve ever tasted.

Colby Gardner - 7th Grade Football - 1998I was twelve years old and going limp, falling to my knees over and again without fail. It didn’t make sense. I had experienced the “rough” conditions of relaying 50lb watermelons in the patch or throwing 45lb bales of hay about the field for hours on end, so why did this make me feel like death?

It brought me to my knees, and I didn’t know what was going on.

It all started when I got the taste of hitting someone for the first time in my life. I wasn’t interested in sissy sports anymore, I had to have what I tasted. It was like the feeling of what a drug addict must feel after their first hit – I was hooked.

American Football was at the beginning of my itch.

Interval mile after interval mile, helicopters on the sled, speed ropes, Lombardi suicides in sticker grass, pulling 18-wheeler tires for what seemed to be miles at a time. The struggle was real, and it seemed to never end.

But what made me, in the struggle, decide to get up off my knees for increasing doses of this repeated torture? Was it the burning desire of being the best? As bad as I really wanted to stand as the hardest working, most talented young man, I don’t think that was it. Was it the dream of hoisting the ultimate championship trophy above my head as the greatest symbol of talent, teamwork, and unity? As fulfilling as that may seem, that wasn’t it. Was it the challenging and competitive nature of my teammates and coaches? Though I would do anything to meet any challenge and brutally embarrass my opponents, that’s not what made me get up time after time. It was the itch for more, the tingle in my spirit to get back at it and see just how far I could go before reaching the point of no return. It was the desperation of what could possibly lie ahead.

For the next five years and on into college, with every hit that itch – my desire for more – got increasingly larger. I would come to the point of almost throwing up and realize that I could press on. The daunting reality that it may take me 45 minutes to scrape my body across the pavement and back to the field house just wasn’t enough for me to throw in the towel. There were tons of options, but giving up wasn’t one of them. What I began to realize is that every time I arrived at the point where I thought I could go no more, I actually could, and did. With each successive circumstance, I realized that if I could get through this, I could get through anything.

Whether in body or in spirit, there is always that itch calling you into more, but what’s important is our response to it. We must learn to see past our current mess and press on, because what lies on the other side of trial is fruit. I refuse to be mediocre at whatever life offers me and vow to push the limit of the mark at hand. As long as I live, I’ll continue the search. After all, why not? It’s just waiting for us.


Have you been able to scratch the itch – find the “more” your spirit longs for? If so, tell us about how you scratched it in a comment below. If you haven’t managed to scratch it yet, I want to tell you that there is more for you. You don’t have to settle for the norm. Make the decision to get up off your knees, take the risk of giving it another go, and enJOY the journey – because it doesn’t stop there…

If scratching the itch looks like finally finding JOY in a nutrition change or starting an active lifestyle, contact us today. We’re here to see that you march triumphantly into the more your spirit so desperately desires with resources, accountability, and encouragement.

Go ahead, scratch that itch.
You were made to be fully alive!

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