A second chance

Published 10:50 pm Wednesday, July 4, 2018

As I approach my one-year anniversary of moving to Selma, I find myself thinking about where this change of scenery has brought me.

When I learned that The Selma Times-Journal wanted to hire me, I was going through the motions just to get through my days working as a Claims Analyst for State Farm in Atlanta.

There was nothing wrong with my job at State Farm. The job was relatively easy. I got paid on time and the benefits weren’t anything to complain about.

The issue was a personal one.

After earning a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree with the goal of becoming a sports reporter, my dream was derailed and I was answering calls from claimants who had a borderline understanding of how their insurance policies work.

It took two years to get back in the game, but I was faced with a decision that some may have paused at.

Stay in Atlanta with my friends, parents and easy job, or move to Selma. A city I’ve only passed through once before, and hope that I hadn’t become too rusty in my craft to be a worthy addition to the Times-Journal.

Even with all of the different variables to consider, I had to take the leap and give myself a second shot at my dream career.

One of the reasons I love sports is because it’s more than a game. In my life it’s provided me with a network of friends, it’s been a stress reliever and a source of joy.

But most importantly, it reminds me that you can’t win if you give up.

There will be people bigger, faster and better than you, but if you don’t try then you’ve already lost.

That was the attitude I had when the opportunity to pursue my dream resurfaced. We never know when a door is going to open for us, and there will only be so many chances before you run out of doors to choose from.

I took my shot, and I’m glad that I did.

Selma has surprised me in countless ways.

Selma is the reason my first visit to Bryant-Denny Stadium was in the press box on the 50-yard line.

Selma is the reason I’ve met two World Series champion pitchers.

Selma is the reason I had the opportunity to go to the Peach Bowl and the College Football National Championship.

Selma is the reason I have a second chance to pursue my dream of being a sports reporter.

I’ve seen crazy talented kids here in the Black Belt make highlight plays on Friday nights and finish dunks that made gyms go crazy.

Selma may be a small city, but in just one year it has helped me grow and improve far beyond where I would be if I was still taking frustrating calls about insurance claims I could care less about.

Thomas Scott is the sports reporter for The Selma Times-Journal. He can be reached at thomas.scott@selmatimesjournal.com.