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If you like Herschel Walker's story, you might also like:
Hank Aaron,
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,
Roger Bannister,
Julius Erving,
James Earl Jones,
Peyton Manning,
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Herschel Walker also appears in the videos:
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Herschel Walker
Herschel Walker
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Herschel Walker Interview (page: 4 / 8)

All-American Football Player

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  Herschel Walker

We've read about this chubby kid, this runt of the family, who wasn't much interested in sports when he was growing up. How did that chubby kid become Herschel Walker, All-American?

Herschel Walker Interview Photo
Herschel Walker: I think dedication, hard work. I wanted to be an athlete because, at that time, being an athlete was considered cool. I was not cool. I was not the prince of the school, or Mr. Big Man On Campus. I just wanted to be acknowledged. I wanted people to come up to me sometimes and say, "Hey Herschel, how you doing?" Rather than laughing at me because I couldn't talk and all this. And so I just started training myself. You know, we didn't have weights, we didn't have a lot of money, but you know, if I could get any little book on the human body, I'd read about it, and I just started training myself. And I liked the way I felt, you know, I felt good about myself, and I love that. That motivated me. Not just in sports, but it motivated me in the classroom. You know, just... it just made me feel good.

I read about another motivation you had: trying to beat your sister in a foot race.

My sister, she is a little bit over a year older. She was fast, and I was that chubby kid. And she was always beating me, she always beat me. I just felt that I couldn't see a girl beating me all the time. And I said, I got to beat her, I got to beat her. And I just trained and trained, and you know, every time I went up to race her, she beat me. Every time I went up she beat me. And after you been beat over ten times, sometimes people got a tendency of quitting. And I said, no, I'm not going to quit, I'm not going to quit. And I kept doing it until I got where I could beat her. And what was so strange about it, is the first race that I ever beat her, I barely beat her. But I think that was like the spring board.

[ Key to Success ] Perseverance

Once I saw I can do it, I said, uh-oh, now it's a little different. Now I'm ready. And I think that's the way the mind works. Sometimes you may not think you can do it. You may not think you can do it, but as long as you've got that doubt, you're never going to do it. I think that's what happened. By me continuing to want to race, and continuing to want to race her, sometime you got to win.

You can take two little dogs. One can be a small dog, the other one is a small puppy, but it's going to grow up to be this huge 160-pound dog. And you can take this one 30-pound little dog that is an adult at the time, and this big dog, as he grows up he is being dominated by this little dog. So he always grows up thinking this little dog can beat him. So he can get to his full size of 160 pounds, and this little dog still is only 30 pounds, but the big dog still thinks the little dog can beat him, so he is afraid of him because he doesn't know any better.

[ Key to Success ] Courage

Sometimes that's the way the mind is. If you continue to say you can't do it, you are not going to do it. But sooner or later you got to swing that bat, because you never know what you're going to hit on.

Was there a moment when you realized that you could be special as an athlete?

Herschel Walker Interview Photo
Herschel Walker: No. I still don't think there was a moment, because I don't think I'm anything special.

You know what I'm talking about. You are not an ordinary athlete.

Herschel Walker: I understand what you are saying, but I think anyone could do it if they really dedicate themselves. It's a lot of hard work.

What did it take for you, Herschel Walker, to go from runt of the family to the Heisman trophy?

Herschel Walker: It takes a lot of hard work. I'm talking mentally, physically, it takes a lot of hard work. You've just got to dedicate yourself. I think that's why I never let anyone read my poetry, I never let anyone see it. I don't think they could ever understand it. When I speak about this, people think I'm absolutely crazy.

I don't drink, I've never tasted alcohol, I don't smoke, I never did any of that, but I can get so high off my belief and my will, that it's almost like you're invincible. I'm so high off God that I don't care what you do to me, you can never destroy me.

[ Key to Success ] Vision

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This page last revised on Sep 28, 2010 21:18 EDT
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