Open Run INC. is a 501(c) non profit organization that brings youth sporting programs to the inner city.
People say that it takes a minimum of 10,000 hours to become elite at any given task. During my journey, I can honestly say I have come close to doubling that. In my dogged pursuit of professionalism, I went above and beyond to perfect my body and my craft. I ate, hydrated, and trained all in hopes of making it to the big stage.
With all the time I’ve spent practicing and performing, I discovered a few important factors for success: if I wanted to train like the professionals, I had to go where they go. I had to do what they did, or at least get close to it. Through willpower and a little luck, I was able to do just that.
I found a way to get there, though it was difficult. I had to scrape together the expensive gym fee, find and pay for transportation to and from the gym, and still get to work on time. That left little time for a personal life, which for a guy in his 20s felt like the biggest burden of all. For months I went from tryout to tryout, from combine invite to combine invite, until finally I was offered my first professional contract. The rest is history.
I want to emphasize that I was very motivated. There were no high quality training facilities in the inner city. But that did not stop me, because there were people and programs working to get inner city athletes in the best shape possible, but no facilities or state of the art equipment to make the task easier.
My dream now is to help nurture that amazing feeling of rapture you get when PLAYING SPORTS AND GIVING IT YOUR ALL – without the hassle and expenses. I want to bring the inner city a top-of-the-line facility that rivals D-I institutions and professional establishments. Then get the people that have dedicated themselves to the betterment of the inner city athletics in the facility. In short, I want preparation to meet opportunity.
(It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.)
• Muhammad Ali-
World champion American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist