Review Of “The IF In Life: How To Get Off Life’s Sidelines And Become Your Best Self”
Recently, I had the opportunity to read The IF in Life: How to Get Off Life’s Sidelines and Become Your Best Self, written by former NFL running back and Dancing with the Stars champion Rashad Jennings. He shares his inspiring story and experiences that encourage readers to follow their dreams. Growing up, Rashad was overweight, had poor vision, asthma, and a 0.6 GPA yet he still aspired to play in the NFL one day. Even with the odds stacked against him, through hard work and determination, and a true heart for the game, Rashad became a record-setting running back who played with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Oakland Raiders, and the New York Giant
In The IF in Life, Rashad writes about decisions that shaped his life. From overcoming injuries and setbacks to reaching goals and everything in between, Rashad’s transparency and passion for sharing his journey will encourage readers to hold on to hope and faith and keep pushing forward even during times of great uncertainty in order to achieve the goals we have for our lives.
Now, I have to tell you I know absolutely nothing about football. My understanding only goes as far as when the score increases on the side of the television screen that is a good thing. I knew who Rashad Jennings was through his competition on Dancing With The Stars. Viewers were able to get a glimpse of who he was, his passion for competing, but more importantly the love he had for his family. That love, joy, passion, and determination emanated from the screen into people’s homes. Then I began to see Rashad on various television shows talking about the books he has written. I was able to see very clearly the care that he poured into this book.
Personally, I really enjoy reading biographies and inspirational stories about overcoming adversity. However, As I said, I do not know anything about football so I was not sure how I was going to be able to relate. I realized very quickly that not only was this story relatable, but it truly makes you think and reflect on the if’s and why’s in your own life. At the beginning of the book, Rashad talks about the “if” in life and how that is a play on words. There are so many choices, decisions, and circumstances throughout life, and these factors help to shape the direction that one’s life takes.
Throughout this book, Rashad takes you through his journey and the lessons that he learned thus far from the trials and triumphs he has faced. At the end of every chapter, he talks to the audience reading by asking questions and causing you to think about how you feel about certain scenarios as they may relate to you. The openness, transparency, and descriptiveness of this book make you feel as if you are right there in each chapter, asking yourself: what would I do in a similar situation? How does this make me feel? It is pretty amazing when there are times in life when you can celebrate and embrace other people’s similarities and differences when it makes you want to better understand people’s stories and what makes them tick. I can guarantee that you will find things out about yourself and others that you may never have expected otherwise.
Thinking about the if’s and why’s in life, and the opportunities that lay ahead in the future open up so many doors for growth and possibility. I highly encourage you to read The If In Life, and to take a look at the Rashad Jennings Foundation website and see all the great things that it is doing for children and student-athletes to be able to achieve their dreams. As the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover.