Would You Make It? Chris Zorich, Notre Dame Great & Chicago Bear from Chicago’s South Side Projects

Most great stories have humble beginnings. If you take a look at history, you will notice that people who reach the pinnacle of success often start from nothing. It requires a lot of effort, courage, determination, and willpower that just won’t go away to make all of that happen. From the outside, all people see is a success but nobody can see the years of pain, hard work, and suffering that it takes to achieve that success.

Chris Zorich was someone I used to watch when I was in high school. I always watched Notre Dame football. It was led by head coach Lou Holt’s, the Fighting Irish won the NCAA national championship in ‘88. One of the stars of that team was Chris Zorich, DT originally raised in Chicago’s South Side housing projects. He went on to the NFL drafted by the Chicago Bears.

He too had a very humble beginning. Their financial situation was really tight. They were living off of aid and after paying rent, there was barely any left for food, let alone anything else. Sometimes, they even had to pick food out of dumpsters. But since he was a good player, he got a chance to train. He trained really hard and ultimately got a college scholarship.

This translates to the current situation also. There is a global pandemic going on right now that has affected millions of lives. Many people haven’t seen a paycheck in over a month and they are now in a really tight spot. This can break the spirits of even the strongest. But it is how you react in times like these that determine how well you will do in the future.

Even though Zorich started doing well professionally, he faced his biggest challenge when his mom passed away. For all his life, it was just him and his mom as he never had a dad. She was everything to him and so when she passed away, he was completely lost. But, he got over 5,000 cards from people whom he had never even met before. He even got one from President Bush at that time. This encouraged him to overcome his grief.

Zorich gives a life lesson here. He says that we are often faced with really tough times in life. That’s just how it is. But, we need to keep in mind that the tough times don’t always last, it is the tough people that do. This single thing can become your power booster whenever you feel demotivated. After his mom passed away, Zorich was finally drafted and he even set up a foundation in her honor to help other people out.

You always have to remember the sacrifices that your friends and family make. It is only on their shoulders that you rise. They form your support structure and when you finally “make it”, you should always remember them and their efforts.