San Francisco Has A New Modern Hero In Marquise Goodwin

San Francisco Has A New Modern Hero In Marquise Goodwin

How the veteran Receiver overcame tragedy and found a new home through football.
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After losing 10 of their first 11 games, the San Francisco 49ers have managed to win three consecutive games. After acquiring Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from the Patriots at the trade deadline, the 49ers have experienced a newfound sense of emotion, as well as a reason to strive for success. With the foundations in place for a new era of success in San Francisco, Garoppolo and the 49ers are trending more than ever upward and could experience sustained success in the years to come.

Even though Jimmy Garoppolo is at the forefront of the surging 49ers offense, Wide Receiver Marquise Goodwin is proving to be the most important cog in the wheel for San Francisco. Goodwin has proved to be the most reliable target for Garoppolo over the past three weeks, as he has been able to accumulate the best three-game stretch of his career in the three games since Garoppolo took over the starting Quarterback duties for San Francisco.

Over the past three weeks, Goodwin has been able to set career highs in targets, routes, snaps, receptions, and yards per game. Although Goodwin has not been able to reach the end zone, he has proved himself to be one of Garoppolo’s high priority targets in scoring situations. While the tandem of Goodwin and Garoppolo still has a long way to go before they can be considered one of the top duos in the NFL, the cornerstones for success are in place, and the 49ers are virtually on the edge of a historic turnaround.

However, Marquise Goodwin’s journey to the NFL was neither normal nor usual. In the summer of 2012, Goodwin couldn’t be further away from an NFL field. In fact, his hiatus from football allowed him to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where he represented Team USA in the long jump event, finishing tenth overall in the field of 40, and just 1.04 feet away from a Bronze medal. Following the London Games, Goodwin turned his attention towards his football career permanently as he returned to the University of Texas, leading the Longhorns to a championship over Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl. Goodwin would be drafted by the Buffalo Bills with the 78th overall pick in the 2013 draft, the following Spring.

After three years of mediocre stagnation in Buffalo, Goodwin was finally able to bloom with the 49ers, as San Francisco’s surging offense has helped elevate Goodwin to the national spotlight. However, Marquise Goodwin’s road to stardom has been laden with hardship and tragedy as the veteran receiver’s losses on the field could never compare to the losses he experienced off the field.

On November 11, just hours prior to the 49ers’ Week 10 matchup with the New York Giants, Goodwin lost his infant son due to complications during pregnancy. Only one month later, Goodwin’s father passed away prior to last Sunday’s contest with Tennessee. The 49ers won both games, while Goodwin set personal records for receptions and yards in both games.

Even through unthinkable tragedy, Marquise Goodwin has been able to carry the 49ers to victory in four of their last five games, and in the process, has become a modern hero for a team that now finds itself only a few steps away from true success.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Thank You, Swimming, For Not Giving Up On Me When I Gave Up On You

It's something I cherish, even if it isn't going to be a part of my life forever.

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We choose not to think about it. It's hard to comprehend the countless hours we've dedicated, the accomplished goals, the unaccomplished goals, the heartbreak, and the victory. We try not to let the highs get to0 high or the lows get too low. Our parents have spent likely too much money on equipment, training and pasta dinners for carb overloads.

While our dreams transpired from being an Olympic gold medalist to somehow making it to the college level our passion was unwavering.

Passion is the thing that never went away.

When I was six years old I never considered exactly why I dedicated my afternoons and weekends to swimming back and forth over and over again. Every day, I jumped on the block high off of ring pops and pixie stick sugar and raced my heart out for a blue ribbon.

As I got older, the blue ribbon wasn't enough so I stopped eating candy before my events and even started drinking some water before I got on the block (I think I even warmed up a time or two). When I started high school life was no longer as cookie cutter as it was for me at six years old and I began to question the three hours I spent at the pool every afternoon. I even began to realize that football games, date nights out with the 16-year-old who had a car and girls nights with my friends consistently trumped the concept of swim practice.

My progress reflected my new found interests and I quickly began to loathe the sport that was once my very reason for waking up in the morning. So why didn't I quit? I honestly have no idea and I couldn't justify it if I tried. I hated everything about the sport but I couldn't bring myself to throw in the towel completely. I could blame it on my coaches, I could blame it on my parents and I could blame it on the 16-year-old boy with a car.

Really, the only person I can blame is myself.

In the midst of my highly hormonal teenage years, I was more than capable of identifying anything and everything that could possibly take the blame for my increasing times, destroyed mindset and negative attitude. I hated my mother for forcing me to go to practice every day. I hated my coaches for not believing in me. I hated my teammates for not hating swimming as much as I did.

Looking back, my mother still saw me as the 6-year-old girl with a ring pop in one hand and a blue ribbon in the other and she blamed herself for my depleting passion and was desperate for it to return. If I was my coaches, I probably wouldn't have believed in me either because I surely didn't believe in myself. As for my teammates, many of them started swimming much later than I did, and I now understand why they may not have had the same resentment and struggles that I was feeling at the time. I realize now that all of these issues stemmed from one major internal issue: I didn't believe in myself.

I tried to fool myself into it a few times. I'd take a deep breath, climb on the block, tell myself I could make it through the race and touch the wall without looking up at the clock because I already knew the result was not one I wanted to see. I let my times reflect my self-worth which was ignorant because it is virtually impossible to compete well when you do not believe in yourself.

I pretended to let the comments about my times being slower roll off my shoulders, but they etched themselves in my mind and echoed through every race I swam. I pretended not to care that my coach forgot to get my splits on my race, but for some reason the next time I raced I didn't feel particularly inclined to put my best foot forward. I was desperate to love the sport that had once been the source of my happiness, and the heartbreak that came with my new found hatred for it was overbearing.

I was trying so hard to love it, but I was struggling to make it through.

There are days where I do not touch the times I did as a 12-year-old girl and there are days where I choose a date night over swim practice. Sometimes, I even turn off my alarm in the morning and pretend that I forgot to set it just because I don't feel like getting out of bed for practice.

There are meets where I add 10 seconds and there are meets where tears fill my goggles in the warm down pool. There are coaches who still don't believe in me and there are "friends" who still laugh at my times. But, there are coaches who do believe in me and there are friends who do celebrate my success and unfortunately, both of these realities go hand in hand.

So no, I am no Olympic gold medalist and in three short years, swimming will likely just be a memory of mine. But, it will be a memory I cherish and a memory I love and I couldn't ask for much more than that.

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