Tiger Times

Strengthening dedication

competitive combat sports proves athletic commitment

Senior Brendan Jackson is practicing his long jump during a track competition. Jackson has been part of track and field, boxing and taekwondo for many years.

Senior Brendan Jackson is practicing his long jump during a track competition. Jackson has been part of track and field, boxing and taekwondo for many years.

Story by Victoria Van, editor in chief

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Inhale, exhale. Sweat beads down his head and he pushes forward, never pausing to take a break. With every swing and kick adrenaline pulsates through his body as his muscles tighten rapidly. Each motivational thought surfaces to his mind and powers his unstoppable endurance.

Senior Brendan Jackson has made it his goal to strive for dedication in all aspects of his athletic endeavors since moving from Louisiana. Jackson’s pursuit in experimenting with and mastering sports such as boxing, track and taekwondo has led the way to living a fulfilling high school career.

“The first sports activity I did was track and field,” Jackson said. “I’ve always been active and wanted to run around and play since I was little. I’ve always liked combat sports, so boxing seemed like a perfect fit. It’s a huge step above taekwondo. It’s an adrenaline rush.”  

His athletic victories have been shaped by teamwork and efforts to successfully communicate with his team, in order to achieve wins that mean more than just the grandeur of a gold medal.

“During my sophomore year, I ran track in Louisiana and we won at the state championships. I was the anchor leg, and the win made all of the hard work and dedication I put myself through worthwhile,” Jackson said. “The opposing team had a large lead over us but I eventually caught up and led our relay team to the championships. I learned a lot about my team and the experience shaped a lot of my motivations that go beyond just winning.”

One of the biggest hardships Jackson faces daily is the stamina required for rigorous training in the sports he plays as his philosophy of never giving up and continuing to keep going contribute to achieving any goal.

“With any sport, the training should be the hardest part because it’s a routine that you have to consistently work at to achieve your desired goals,” Jackson said. “If you train really hard, you can win really easy. The routine you have to put yourself through is difficult but making time is necessary for anything you want to reach for in sports and real life situations.”

Fear of loss set Jackson up to grow as an individual that can overcome any obstacles that steer him away from the direction that he tries go toward concerning potential successes.

“I was always scared of losing,” Jackson said. “Especially since I considered myself good as a red belt to go against black belts. Every time before a tournament thoughts were racing in my head about losing and nervous feeling overcame me. Yet, I got out of my head and persevered through my difficulties.”

I knew I had to work hard and push through every week because my passion matched my work ethic.”

— Victoria Van

Transitioning from Louisiana to Texas reinforced Jackson’s ideals that moving from one town to another can create new opportunities that are ready to be sought after in each of his goals.

“There were more chances to do more in Texarkana than the small town in Louisiana,” Jackson said. “There’s always different competitions in different states so it was good for a change of pace in my life. Primarily, I’ll still do track in college but if the opportunity presents itself, hopefully I can still continue to participate in more sports that have been such a big part of my life since day one.”

True grit and work were implemented into Jackson’s routine as his struggle to pay for his taekwondo classes ceased to place a burden on his commitment. Enduring every Saturday and Sunday dedicated to cleaning up Jackson’s large taekwondo class studio taught him about the impact of responsibility and accountability.

“I was so in love with the sport of taekwondo that for a while, I couldn’t pay for classes,” Jackson said. “So, my instructor gave me the opportunity to clean up the studio one night. Whenever I didn’t have to work, I would ride my bike 12 to 15 miles on highways and hills during the hot summer sun on my back. I knew I had to work hard and push through every week because my passion matched my work ethic.”

Jackson attributes his motivations to begin every task by displaying the necessity that the start of anything is the most difficult part of the goal one tries to reach within a given time.

“The best thing that’ll at least get you started on your training or workout if you ever feel unmotivated is to simply get up and begin the task. The start is always hard but go with the motions. That’s the most important thing to do in order to achieve any goals that you set for yourself in life.”


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About the Writer
Victoria Van, editor in chief

Victoria is one half of the “Dream Team” as online editor in chief of the Tiger Times newspaper with Joseph Rodgers. She’s juggling the responsibilities...

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