Football legend and Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker faced formidable opponents on the football field during his stellar college and professional career, and later in Corporate America. But long before his rise to fame and success, he struggled with daunting challenges that would greatly shape the man he was to become.
Growing up in Wrightsville, Ga., Walker was overweight and stuttered, which made him a target for bullying.
“My mom told me I was big boned, but to other kids, I was fat,” Walker told a credit union audience yesterday at the Cornerstone Credit Union League’s Annual Meeting & Expo in San Antonio.
Walker recalls that his teachers separated him from the other children and told him he was "special," which further alienated him, he explained. Eventually, feeling that “enough was enough,” Walker said he worked hard to improve his physical, as well as mental and emotional conditions. While we all get knocked down, Walker told Annual Meeting attendees that the key is to get up.
“You can’t limit yourself to what others tell you that you can me,” he said. “With hard work, perseverance and tenacity, you can overcome any challenge or obstacle.”
Admittedly, Walker says making the transition from athlete to a career in corporate America wasn’t easy. In the beginning, he says no one wanted to take him seriously. But he didn’t give up.
“If you want others to believe in you, you have to first believe in yourself,” he told the credit union audience. “We are all responsible for the choices we make in life, whether it’s in our personal or professional life.”
And if you want be successful, Walker says you have to have a plan, and you have to adhere to that plan.
“I am a firm believer that with a plan, hard work and accountability, we can overcome any challenge and find success,” he said.