As the Summer quickly arrived and left, I found myself walking through the quad at Illinois State University thinking about so many memories, so many stories and so many people I've had the pleasure of meeting and learning something from.
One kid in particular sticks out from the rest as I'm walking down memory lane, but this story doesn't begin at ISU, but rather several years ago. We had a history of memories, from when we first met in high school, to morning runs, shenanigans with the Leyden cross country team and his reciting of Rocky Balboa quotes, to his jokes about Will Ferrel, "Panda Jerks" and our adventures at Illinois State. He was notorious for being a number cruncher, and a milk chugger, but what made him stand out from the rest was his passion for believing in other people.
People come into your life for a reason, a season, and a lifetime. Whether that reason is to fill a void, or help you or someone during a difficult time, until you're ready to get back up on your feet. Whether that season keeps us together for a short or extended period of time and brings us joy, happiness and memories to cherish. Or if that person comes into your life and shows you life lessons that can be carried on for years to come. One of those lessons he showed me.... or rather recited to me was this
"You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life,
but it ain't about how hard you hit.
It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward,
how much you can take and keep moving forward,
that's how winning is done!
Now if you know what you're worth, go out and get what you're worth,
but you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers
saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her or anybody.
Cowards do that and that ain't you, you're better than that!
Until you start believing in yourself, you ain't gonna have a life."- Rocky Balboa (2006)
The first step to living your life is believing in yourself. He believed in me, and showed me I could believe in myself.
Kevin Michael Kriston came into my life for a reason, and although our season is up, his impact on my life will be carried on for the rest of my days.
I love you Kevin. Rest in Peace.
and always remember.....
"Trials of Miles, Miles of Trials"