Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Tracie Mitchell
Staff Writer 

You are responsible for your own choices

Message from a former NFL prospect turned motivational speaker to Ten Sleep students is 'make good choices'


February 8, 2018

Tracie Mitchell

Ten Sleep School students, Cole Anderson, Matt Fenton, Zach Dorn and Zane Taylor with other students joining in, gave football star and motivational speaker Brian Pruitt a proper send off after the middle/high school assembly Wednesday afternoon.

TEN SLEEP – Central Michigan Chippewas football star and motivational speaker Brian Pruitt spoke to Ten Sleep School students Wednesday in two different assemblies about the importance of making good choices. He spoke to the elementary students in the morning and the middle/high school students in the afternoon.

"Momma's first law is good choice, good day. Bad choice, bad day," Pruitt stated at both assemblies. He added that too many bad choices can create a bad life and making enough good choices can lead to a great life. For the older students he added, "Your past does not have to determine your future." A sentiment that Ten Sleep High School student Charity Starr stated was the most important part of the assembly for her.

While talking to the middle/ high school students Pruitt explained how the bad choices of his family had created a legacy of wife abuse, child abuse, murder and fatherlessness. He stated that his great-grandfather was called Blue because he beat his wife and children blue; and how his grandfather had vowed that he would never be like that, but because of bad choices he ended up the same way but worse. Pruitt's grandfather was also guilty of the same crimes but when his wife left him, he hunted her down and killed her while Pruitt's father, uncles and aunts hid in the bathroom.

Pruitt's father also vowed to be different but drugs and alcohol led him down the same path, a path that Pruitt's mother also ran away from, hoping to make a better life for him. "We had escaped that situation because it was a pretty violent situation as a kid. At this point in time my father lives in Cleveland, Ohio, but we were estranged from each other for nearly 20 years, so that was the plight on me and my dad. Mom had to make some tough decisions and some pretty good ones that she made to make sure that she could raise her son in a different environment so that he could make different choices," Pruitt said. He added that the fact that he has broken the family legacy and that his wife isn't afraid of him and that his children are always excited to see him is a touchdown to him, every time.

He emphasized during both assemblies examples of bad choices, in a humorous way. For the elementary students he told a story of a bad choice he made when he met the Incredible Hulk, his greatest super hero, at his birthday party, slamming the Hulk's hand in a door. For the middle and high school he told a story about hitting his cousin in the head, which led to another bad choice and the consequences of those choices.

During both assemblies Pruitt explained that growing up he had two dreams - to play for the NFL and to travel the world speaking. "When I was a little boy I had two dreams, I wanted to play football and I wanted to travel the world speaking. As a kid I had a poster of the world on my wall and I would walk up to it and I would close my eyes and I would just let my finger travel wherever and then I would say I spoke there today. Now, I get to say that for real. In my bedroom as a kid I used to practice speeches at 4, 5, and 6 years old. I would put speeches together and practice them and give them like I was in another part of the country. That was just as real to me as playing football. Now that's a strange dream for a kid, maybe that's because it wasn't just a dream and it just wasn't my imagination, maybe it was my destiny." Pruitt explained.

Pruitt explained that to be successful in life all a person needs is one person to believe in them and that the first person to believe in you should be yourself; that people don't need anyone else's belief, just the belief in yourself.

While the two assemblies were similar in many ways, they differed in content to match the students' ages. For the elementary students he explained the need for HACC - heart, attitude (good), courage and hard work and consistency. While explaining this he emphasized that all dreams can be achieved if a person is willing to put all four to work for them.

For the middle/ high school assembly he emphasized the need to make good choices and that no one is responsible for your choices but yourself. He told the students that with each choice they make they are creating their future and that no matter what happens in your life if you follow Momma's law No.2, 'life knocks you down, find a way to get back up,' everything will work out. He explained that after he was unable to become the NFL legend that he appeared to be destined to be, because of a neck injury, it was his mother's words that kept running through his head and forced him to continue on.

Pruitt stated during an interview before the assemblies that, "Finding Jesus has been the strength of everything I've done and everything that I am. That helped me growing up in a fatherless situation, that helped me make it through the whole thing with disappointment in the NFL and that has helped me find purpose again in regards to what I do now." He added that God is the source of strength and that to change the legacy of his family, it took the strength of God, something that he teaches all the young men he mentors in his Power of Dad program in Sagano, Michigan.

Students left the assembly with a lot to think about. Ten Sleep student Lee Whitlock stated that Momma's law No.1 will resonate with him. Good Choices, good day. Bad choices, bad day.


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