Sideline pass with Ike Taylor
By Ike Taylor
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012, 11:22 p.m.
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012
As a man and an athlete, I have learned to work hard to achieve the things I want most in life. I have worked hard for everything in my life and I never feel entitled. My work ethic has played an instrumental role in my life and continues to do so increasingly with each day that passes.
In my junior year at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, I began to see my life change as a result of the work I put in both on and off the field.
I was a walk-on in 2001 and was able to earn myself a scholarship. I played running back my junior year and then cornerback my senior year, and while it took extra work to make this transition happen, I was up for the challenge. Again, I was able to see just how much hard work pays off, when I was drafted in 2003 to the best organization in the National Football League.
After being drafted in the fourth round, I knew I had a tough road ahead of me, and you guessed it, a great deal of hard work to do. In 2005, I saw all of my hard work pay off when I was given the starting job for the Steelers.
There I was, playing with one of the best safeties in the world, Hall of Famer Troy Polamalu. Troy has taught me so much about the game and about life. All of the hard work I've put in that has allowed me the opportunity to develop a lifelong friendship with one of the best guys I know. (The guy is even in my will!)
Hard work has allowed me to feel the joy of winning two Super Bowls, as well as the pain of losing one. It has allowed me to appreciate the satisfaction of being a part of a team that was No. 1 in total defense three times in the past six years, and No. 1 in passing defense twice in the past four years. Nothing is more satisfying than an experience that was hard earned.
Make sure you appreciate every day of your life, the good and the bad. Appreciate the great things in life, but try your best to keep a level head when you are up. Learn from the tough times and make sure to grow from them.
I know I've said it a lot, and you've heard it before, but work hard every day. Don't let a moment go by that you have not put everything you have in to it.
I want to say hello to my son and his mother, my mom and sisters, and my nieces and nephews. You should know that you keep me going every day. The critics can be tough, but you are always there to make me smile and bring sunshine to my life.
Who's coming to the game this weekend? We need you all out there in full force! Get your Swaggin' University gear on and your TERRIBLE TOWELS fresh and clean. Here we go! #SWURVE
Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor is a contributor for Trib Total Media. His column appears Fridays. He also hosts a talk show Tuesdays from 2-3 p.m. on TribLive Radio.
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