Pops first set the goal in high school, but when he graduated he thought he wasn’t mature enough to pursue it so he enlisted in the U.S. Army.
He dreamed about it as a member of the 82nd Airborne as he became an Army Ranger. Later, in the first Gulf War, he thought about his goal again, as he also did during his service in the Kosovo conflict. For 20 years, through his Army career, a war, marriage and six children, Pops kept the dream and the goal alive.
Never mind that he was considered far too old to pursue his dream, Pops just couldn’t let go.
When he retired from the Army at 39, he decided it was finally time to do something about the goal he’d set so many years before. He moved his family to Columbia, South Carolina and enrolled as a freshman at the University of South Carolina.
No, he wasn’t considered too old for that. Many others, much older, have pursued college degrees for the first time. What Tim “Pops” Frisby did was even more special. At an age when even most professional players have hung up there helmets, he began working out with the South Carolina Gamecocks football team during the winter. Working out with players half his age, all of whom were young enough to be his son, he competed for a position on a Division One major College Football Team.
It was a goal that Pops had lived with for a long time and he began to realize it when coaches invited him back for fall drills. When South Carolina kicked off their season against the University of Georgia, Tim Frisby was on the sidelines wearing Gamecock jersey number 89. On September 25th, against Troy, the legendary Lou Holtz, head coach at South Carolina, sent Pops into the game for its final four plays. “I have a lot of respect for the guy,” Holtz said. “A Ranger, 20 years in the Army, six kids. He loves this team. I thought it would be good to get him in. I’m sorry we could not throw it to him.” But knowing the way that Pops Frisby makes his dreams come true, that’s just a matter of time.
Frisby, who turns 40 in February, has been featured on ESPN’s “College GameDay.” ABC’s “Good Morning America,” CNN, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times are all planning stories.
Incidentally, the father of six between the ages of six months and 16, also maintains a 3.88 (out of a possible 4.0) grade point average.
Still think it’s too late for your dream? Goal setting and goal starting is a process that can start at any age and at any time. There’s no need to wait until January 1st to set or start a goal. Goal setting and goal starting doesn’t have to take place at the first of the month, or even the first of the week. I once started on a big goal at midnight on the 24th of the month.
Tim Frisby accomplished his goal and realized his dream for two simple reasons: he never let time take his dream away, and when the time finally came, he took action. It worked for Pops -- and it’ll work for you too!
© 2004 Vic Johnson