If you've ever gone on a tour of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame you've probably taken a look at all the names and faces adorned on the walls and harkened back to your youth when you dreamt about one day becoming a world famous athlete yourself and playing in your home leagues.
Don't worry though. You're not the only person who had grand dreams of one day being a starting pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays, a world-class striker for Juventus, a hard slap-shot shooting left-winger for the Pittsburgh Penguins or a hard-hitting linebacker for the New York Giants. Every kid growing up imagines themselves in the places that their pro athlete heroes are. If we didn't have dreams when we were growing up we'd have nothing to aspire to.
Not everyone grows up to be a slick-fielding shortstop or a shot-blocking defenceman for a pro team. It takes a lot of hard work, commitment and god-given talent to become a pro athlete. A lot of pro athletes are born with a rare talent that some of us aren't blessed with. While we might be good at sports during our youth only the best of the best will continue to play at the pro level. The rest of us will find careers and days jobs and work with things such as computers, machines and retail sales.
Others will continue the dream of becoming a pro athlete all the way to minor professional sporting leagues until someone finally tells them they aren't good enough. Others will take the next best path and spend their days writing about sports. Or take years of success and use their profits to buy a sports team. Nobody grows up dreaming of one day having a day job in the field of concrete mixing or accounting. There isn't much exciting about that. The real action is in sports. Being on the field, rink, or court each day playing a game and calling it a career.
When looking at all the monuments honoring the pro athletes in the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame you can wonder why you never got to live the dream of becoming a pro athlete or admire the ones who did even more because they made their dreams come true. While they took their born-with talents to the next level that doesn't mean they didn't work extra hard to get there. They put in the hours studying game tapes, working on techniques and going to the gym for hours a day.