My name is Al Allen. The members of my family are the jewels in my crown. My beautiful wife Jude gave me the blessing of two boys; Jacob, 21; and Seth, 14. Since he could barely walk, Seth loved basketball. Even at the age of five, he begged me to teach him and I did, passing on all I learned from my college career. While little league provided highlights and memories when Seth because an eighth grader the competition became more serious. I asked him what he wanted to accomplish his last season of middle school and he said, “Dad, I want to be one of the best players ever to play at my school.” I believed he possessed the ability to attain that ambition.
So, I created a PowerPoint presentation for Seth. The first slide simply consisted of ten words. The next slide listed the goals that he would need to achieve in every game he played in the upcoming season (best shooter, best ballhandler, most athletic player, etc.) The next slide covered the eleven strategies it would take to ascertain those goals. And the next eleven slides itemized five to eleven objective to accomplish those strategies. The season started in three months and the work we committed to seemed daunting. Seth could complete a few of the objectives when he woke up and after finishing his homework. But for most of his training, only one place contained everything we needed to accomplish his vision: LA Fitness.
With all of this in mind, we began our training. LA Fitness became our second home. We trained there three to four times a week, sometimes arriving at six in the morning so we could practice in the gym by ourselves. LA Fitness accommodated [everything we needed]. Seth worked on getting stronger, faster, and quicker. We performed numerous shooting and ballhandling drills. I would play him one on home, mentoring him [on] what he just learned. Then, he would lift weights and complete a plyometrics workout, jumping over boxes and between ropes. Once a week, we would play in a pick-up game at LA Fitness, applying what he learned during the week. We did this for three months. A week before the season began, we played our last pick-up game against college players and adults. One of the adults couldn’t believe how well Seth shot during warm-ups. I told him “you haven’t seen anything yet.” Our team won with [me and Seth] scoring all our team’s points. Of course, it didn’t matter that he scored twenty-four of those points and I scored six. Afterward, I told him “you play the season l.ike you played in that last game, you will become a legend at your school and they will talk about you for years to come. You are ready.”
And ready, he was. He led his team in scoring, rebounding, assists, blocks, and steals. He played every position on the floor. His dexterity and skills made him unstoppable [at times]. His team finished the season tied for first place in their division. He made the All-Conference team. But we both knew even after his astonishing season, to accomplish his mission, his team would need [to] win the city championship. To succeed, his team would need to win five games in a row against the best teams in the city. Before the first game, I told him he may need to make game-winning shots to advance. I asked him about his nerves. I said confidently “Dad, this is what I trained for.” As if I prophesized it, he dominated and made incredible plays in the last moments to win every game including the city championship. His team won it all as the tournament declared Seth the most valuable player of the entire city tournament. Seth’s school won their first city championship in school history. I think I can say that my son accomplished his vision of becoming one of the greatest players ever at his middle school.
That week produced one of the greatest memories for my family. Seth’s team winning the championship took great coaches and teammates. It took his mom taking him to doctor’s appointments for therapy after injuries during the season. It took multiple motivational speeches from his big brother, Jacob. It took my mentorship. It even took his grandmother’s prayers when shooting free-throws in the last minute. But mostly, it took Seth’s talent, hard work, and character. However, none of it would have been possible without LA Fitness. LA Fitness provided all the tools to assist Seth in fulfilling his potential as a middle school basketball player. Ironically, I can’t help but think of a million commercials where actors pretend a product caused an indispensable impact on their lives. But the Allens are not actors. LA Fitness did offer us indispensable service to accomplish a dream of my son’s. These videos and pictures are not manufactured. This story is not scripted. All of it happened. Most importantly, LA Fitness helped a father and son become even closer. And, by the way, LA fitness helped me lose thirty-five pounds in the last year.
Seth accomplished one dream but a lifetime of dreams light his path and he is just getting started. I will say [this] about Seth, you haven’t seen anything yet.
See you at 6:00AM.
A proud dad of two boys and a proud member of LA Fitness