By Kenny Mullen
Unique, being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else.
“the situation was unique in modern politics”
synonyms: distinctive, distinct, individual, special, idiosyncratic; single, sole, lone, unrepeated, unrepeatable, solitary, exclusive, rare, uncommon, unusual, sui generis; informalone-off, one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime, one-shot
My entire life I tried to convince myself that I was an ordinary person. I’m not sure if it was me trying to remain overly humble, or if it were just me trying to convince myself that I was ordinary but everyone around me seemed to disagree. The truth is I can’t convince myself I am, and have been ordinary it’s not true. Everyone is unique within, not everyone is willing to show it.
I’m cut from a different cloth, I’m simple a different breed. My whole life I loved being the underdog. I lived for it. I was never the biggest strongest fastest athlete but I was always the best even when playing against my childhood friends in high school. We grew up playing all sports together, football, baseball, basketball, and a few ran track. Everyone that I surrounded myself with growing up were unique. My best friends Jordan and Nick opened their own business while still taking full credit hour classes in college. They both graduated from ball state university May 7. Lawrence Barnett, who I consider my big brother even though not blood-related, I can’t look at him as anything differently than my big brother went off to play college ball at Indiana University and Alabama A&M at corner back and as a returner who I learned so much from. LB is one of the best defensive back coaches in the Midwest! He’s Definitely a best kept secret. Jaylon and Rod Smith both childhood friends, played with them both growing up are now playing on the same NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys and they’re brothers. Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State standout playing professional basketball. Greg Johnson, Jastin Stephans, Steph Jackson, the list goes on. We were all like diamonds in the rough, our mothers couldn’t afford to pay for us to go to college. We had to use the gift of our sport to put us in the position to be able to attend a college. But our parents sacrificed a lot to make sure we stayed on track to be successful.
I always knew that I was different. I was one of those kids that didn’t really have to try in school, I was always naturally smart and started abusing that gift. I should’ve taken school more seriously, but I did graduate from Indiana University in 2015, on a four year track. I was always athletic and gifted in sports. I played Division 1 B1G 10 football My true Freshman year in 2011 starting as a returner and nickel back. I competed against the nations top talent in high school and college. And my credentials can be found somewhere on the Internet. I’ve accomplished a lot.
I suffered an injury against Mizzou my senior year that ended my career. I dislocated my knee cap, Acl, meniscus, mcl all torn. It was ugly! I went through the toughest time of my life. On top of all that, I started having children. It was a long dark and lonely path for months. I felt alone. I started to see things differently. I wasn’t easily excited about much like I used to be. I know that everything happens for a reason, and my faith was always in God so I let him work. I came out of a long couple month depression, bumped my head a few times, made many bad decisions, and somehow in the midst of almost self-destructing ended up graduating from college. Coming out of college I was able to get a good paying job, (all about who you know) that wasn’t so good for me in the end. I made plans with other corporations that didn’t go through as planned.
I was frustrated. Confused and tired. I didn’t know how my next move would go. I started to forget I am an unique person. I’ve always made a way out of no way on and off the field. I had to remind myself I’m not ordinary, and the humble thoughts vanished. I am unique and I’ll show you why I’m unique. My business mindset has never been better. I feel myself emerging to the surface like I’m Steph Curry. At 23 years old I’m my own boss. I’m proud of the launching of my company Unique Skills Academy. We are a group of unique athletes who are certified trainers giving kids the skill set to excel at every level of play.
I was never born to fit in. My mother used to tell me all of the time that I was special and could be something one day. I was always told to surround myself with people who had the same vision I did. I surrounded myself with unique individuals, “greatness”.
I often tell people now I’m a 1- of- 1. People ask what it means, I tell them it means I’m unique, I’m my own kind, my own person, my own brand, different from others, as you are too. I’m just willing to show my uniqueness, others won’t take the risk. I’m order to be free in life you have to take risks and be yourself to truly be happy. Show you’re unique.