Happy (Belated) International Day of Acceptance to Derrick Coleman

Monday was not only the American observance of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, it was also the day for disability acceptance, called International Day of Acceptance (IDOA). On that day, and any other day, we appreciate the talents of those with disabilities. Some have even influenced multitudes of peoples.

What grander example of a person overcoming obstacles to showcase talents than Derrick Coleman of the Seattle Seahawks. Not only he’s their fullback, but he’s also the first legally deaf offensive player to be on an NFL team. And he’s going to the Super Bowl with the Seahawks in about one week from Sunday! Now that’s an amazing accomplishment from someone who became deaf at 3 years old, went on to star at UCLA, and made an NFL regular roster after going undrafted. If you don’t consider him an example of MLK’s dream and Anne Hopkins’ vision of IDOA, then I don’t know what else to tell you.

Check out his Duracell commercial and many of his interviews below, then share this post to all who believes in going above and beyond expectations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcoming our 2013 #AuburnTigers #Football Team home (1-7-2014)




Via Flickr:
Proud Auburn fans, despite the freezing temperatures, thanking the team for a remarkable seasons. The sky is the limit next year! #WDE

Photos can also be found on Timotheus “Pharaoh” Gordon FB like page: www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.588682301187177.1073741…

Kick, Bama, Kick (Taking Pictures at my First Iron Bowl)

Blog can also be found in Pharaoh’s Prinicples, on the AblitySota website

Before I start, let’s set the mood by tuning in to my favorite song, “the Heart of Courage” by Two Steps from Hell. Shall we? I love that song because it goes well with sports highlights and it’s the song that’s used for the 2013 Auburn football inspiration video.

Now…

Good morning everyone!! This football season has been very life-changing for me. This was the second time that I worked at a college football venue. The second time was a charm because I got to take pictures of fans enjoying SEC games, namely Auburn Tigers home football games. For starters, I love taking pictures of events and help people enjoy & remember them. Secondly, football games are fun to cover because you can meet and hangout with fans, workers, and tailgaters while on the job. More importantly, I’m blessed to have the FanPhotos gigs because I was able to witness the greatest Iron Bowl and one of the best college football endings in history last week. It was my first ever Iron Bowl, and I’m proud to capture the moment using my personal and my job’s cameras.

I usually rush to the student section to take post-game pictures. But for this game, I decided to stay on the upper deck, just in case I had to take pictures of people watching the overtime. I thought the game was going into overtime when T.J. Yeldon stepped out of bounds. But the refs gave them one more second to win the game. I prayed that Bama will either miss the game-winning FG or have it blocked again. They indeed missed it, but I didn’t anticipate Chris Davis Jr. field the kick at the endzone. As Davis streaked towards the opposite goalline, I shouted “Run, you [MF], RUNNNNN”. Like the Prayer at Jordan-Hare, the whole stadium erupted in joy when he scored the game-winning touchdown. I was so overjoyed that I fell off a seat and somehow landed on a lady’s chest. We hugged and cheered; she didn’t let go of me for a few seconds.

It was a frenzy of picture taking afterwards. I took pics at the student section, on the field, at Toomer’s Corner, near the bars…you name it! I also had fan interacting with both Bama and Auburn fans. I even took pictures of some of the players; Mack VanGorder is now following me on Instagram. I also talked to Keymiya Harrell and Gabe Wright, while Alex Kozan (on IG) informed me on an error: I was supposed to tag Thomas Jackson on one of the posts, not him.

Thank you Lord for giving me this opportunity to take pictures at games like this. Without FanPhotos, I don’t know how I would captured the celebration and historical moment live.

Links to 2013 Iron Bowl pictures can be found in two places:

Living My Life, The Diesel’s Way

Good evening everyone!! First half of 2013 has been an up and down time period for me, from going to court and losing my financial aid…to graduation and moving to a smaller city to be closer to my girlfriend while starting life after higher education. Today is an example of not only of a bad day, but it’s also a time where I’m teary-eyed yet reflective at the same time.

I found out through Facebook that my high school football teammate and Senior Boys Council buddy Dareon “Diesel” Cartman (the guy wearing #25) died in a motorcycle accident.  He was an inspiration to me because he got to enjoy life while he can by doing the things he enjoy, such as football, MMA, skydiving, and motorcycle riding. He was easy going and ready to make a friend out of  lonely people. And he loved to compete. Diesel was a strong leader on and off the football field. In fact, he was a rising entrepreneur and one of three HP seniors on the football team who  tried out for a Division I team. In short, I loved my brother and he was a close friend.

Sadly, I didn’t get to hang out with him as much as I wanted due to school and constant relocation. I don’t have a lot of friends to begin with and the friends that I do have are mostly back home in Chicago or in other states. I’m not as close to family as I should and I tend to focus on my work more than building friendships. Diesel’s death scares me not only because it’s sudden and I lost a great friend. It’s also scary because it makes me realize how short life can be.

True, I get into arguments a lot or tend to be isolated at times when someone hurts me emotionally (this was more true during my childhood; I’m more laid back now-and-days). As a result, I can focus too much on the pain and bad times.

But I ask myself this question: what if I was to die tonight and see Diesel again in the afterlife? Would he be proud of my unwillingness to let bygones be bygones? I don’t think so!

If anything, I want to follow in his footsteps and learn how to enjoy friends and adventures to the fullest. That is Diesel’s biggest legacy. He may have lived for about only 24-25 years, but through going after his dreams and being loving towards everyone he meets, he made plenty of impacts on people’s lives. He wasn’t afraid to go outside the comfort zone. I think that’s why I was able to enjoy the zip tower today despite my dreadful fear of heights; I took a page from Diesel’s approach to life.

That means I need to stop being afraid of going outside of my comfort zone and worry too much. That means I need to begin to let things go and love up on people at the end of the day. That means that I need to open up my mind to new experiences and friend circles. I’m sick of not connecting with new and old friend circles because I’m away from them trying to hyper-focus on building my career.

I apologize to those who I argued harshly against; I pray that we can all come to a point where we spent fun, quality time together and drop all the foolishness into the pit. For those who hurt me in the past, I forgive you. I pray that I’ll help you get to a positive state of mind and turn our relationship from antagonistic to fruitful.

Remember, no matter what, enjoy the moments, and people while you can. Don’t be afraid to say, “I love you” and commend the person for his or her positive qualities. Step up and step out of the norm.  And it’s perfectly fine to have wonderful adventures that you dream of.