Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
Every now and then, one of us Chillicothians will go on and do something amazing. That is the case of Mr. Garin Veris. I have had the pleasure of meeting Garin, but you didn’t have to meet him or know him to know of him. The Garin I remember was kind, gentle and always wore a smile. He was positive and upbeat, always willing to help others when he could. And while our meeting was fleeting, he left an impact on me that I have yet to shake off to this day. That impact was the footprint of accomplishment.
Garin Veris led by example. On and off the football field. He led the way when it came to chasing your dreams and goals in life. He played on the same football field that I played on. It was through him that I knew, even in high school, that one day, I too could accomplish the things that I wanted to accomplish. Of course, for me, it was writing. For him, it was a path that would lead him all the way to the NFL.
He was born on Feb. 27th, 1963 in Chillicothe, Ohio. He played defensive end for the NFL team, New England Patriots. A 2nd round pick in 1985 out of Stanford university and a graduate of Chillicothe High School where he starred in football (playing offense and defense) and in basketball in 1981.
In his rookie season with the New England Patriots, he recorded 14 sacks, including four in the playoffs, and started for New England in Super Bowl XX. He ended his career in the NFL with the San Francisco 49’ers in 1992. He was later named to the Patriots all-80’s team.
On July 14th, 2011, Garin Veris Accepted the Athletic Director Position At his Alma Mater, Chillicothe High School in Chillicothe, Ohio. He will also serve as the at-risk student coordinator, a new position, at Chillicothe High School, helping mostly high school juniors and seniors who are in danger of not graduating.
He continues to do today what he always did, help others. His influence on me was that of reaching out, giving back, and helping me to understand that you can do anything you put your mind to. That just because you come from a small town, doesn’t mean you always have to dream small. And that no matter how big your dreams are, if you have the drive and ambition and willingness to sacrifice, you can accomplish anything you desire.
I have met some famous people in my life and know many people who are in the spotlight or have tasted the spotlight. Through my travels, I have met many who left a lasting impression. None left more of an impression on me than Garin did. Maybe it was because he is a Chillicothe boy too, just like me. Impressions are longer lasting when you can relate to someone in a more personal way. It’s kind of like, “If he can do it, so can I.” mentality. And he did do it. And so am I doing it today. I am living my dream. I am writing songs. I am writing books. I have climbed over my mountain of doubt and came down the other side with hardly a scratch. (Just some bumps and bruises.)
But sometimes I wonder - would I have been able to do it had it not been for Garin? During my moments of self doubt, I would think about him and ask myself, “What would Garin think if he knew I was thinking about giving it up?” Of course, the answer was easy, he wouldn’t think highly of that at all. Not one bit. And while through the years, I battled within myself - I think somewhere deep down inside I knew that one day, I would write those books. I would write those songs. I would accomplish my dreams. My goals.
And hey, here is the kicker …. You can accomplish yours too!
It isn’t about the money. It isn’t about the fame. It’s about doing what you know you were born to do.