36 overcoming our own worst mistakes passiton

Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

To download these free stories, please enter the newspaper publication you represent with your email address. We will email you when we add new stories each month. Thanks!

Note: We are committed to keeping your e-mail address confidential. We do not sell, rent, or lease our contact data or lists to third parties. Please see our privacy policy for details.

Please enter your organization and email above before downloading these articles.

Download PDF Word .doc Download Photo .jpg

Pass It On®

Overcoming Our Own Worst Mistakes.
Kaelin Clay made an unpardonable error in football. And he owned it.

By The Foundation for a Better Life

There’s a story in football that goes all the way back to 1929. Roy Riegels of Cal picked up a fumble and nearly returned the ball to the endzone … for the opposing team. He had to be tackled by a teammate and earned the nickname “Wrong Way Riegels.” He was so distraught that his coach had to talk him into returning to the game.

Scoring for your opponent is unforgivable for fans. We lay our dreams at the feet of kids playing a game and suffer meltdowns when mistakes are made. Similar to Riegels, Kaelin Clay of the University of Utah caught a pass across the middle in a game against Oregon. The speedster sprinted 70 yards to the endzone. But in a premature celebration, he let the ball fall from his hands, just inches from the goal line. The ball was scooped up by Oregon’s Joe Walker, who ran the length of the field for a touchdown.

But, unlike Riegels, Kaelin Clay gathered himself quickly, took responsibility for the blunder and finished the game with several key catches that set up scores. It wasn’t enough. Clay will candidly tell you that the loss to Oregon was his fault. Still, he learned from it.

“Life is crazy,” Clay says. “Things change. That moment right there helped me realize that no matter what happens, just keep pushing, because something good will happen in the end.” Clay made all the highlight reels for all the wrong reasons. But he didn’t quit. He pushed harder.

They say sport mimics life. At the very least, it intensifies living, subjecting our souls to the scrutiny of perfection. But perfection doesn’t exist for any of us. Our best is all we have to offer. Resigning to failure will never deliver the gift that comes when we overcome; a process that requires us to be accountable to ourselves first, and next to the teammates who accompany us on this journey.

Children, in particular, fall victim to the discouragement that comes with falling short. Many don’t have the skills to move on. They suffer mentally and emotionally rather than rebound. Kaelin Clay speaks to them: “I tell them things are going to happen; you just have to keep pushing. It’s going to be all right, and it happens for a reason.”

Kaelin Clay went on to become an All-American. He played in the NFL for four years. Maybe none of that success would have happened if he hadn’t learned from his mistakes.

OVERCOMING...PassItOn.com

Copyright © 2022 | The Foundation for a Better Life | All rights reserved.

Pass It On®

The Foundation for a Better Life, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, gives your newspaper permission to publish these stories in print and electronic media (excluding audio and video), provided the stories are published in their entirety, without modification and including the copyright notice. For any modification, permission must first be obtained from the Foundation by emailing media-relations@passiton.com. Thank you.

  email

Your Comments
Julie Bjerke from Hinckley MN.  OCTOBER 29, 2021
This event is an inspirational truth for many; I will be sharing it with those who feel a wrong way turn is never righted.


Here are some other inspiring newspaper articles you might like.
Taking Responsibility.

Taking Responsibility.
How one high school student supported her family during the pandemic.

The Least Likely to Help.

The Least Likely to Help.
How a bedridden attorney still fights for the rights of others.

A Lesson We Should Never Forget.

A Lesson We Should Never Forget.
The incredible story of American POWs smuggling rations to Russian prisoners at Stalag-B.

Let the Kids Give it a Try

Let the Kids Give it a Try
How 17-year-old Dasia Taylor developed sutures that detect infection.

Billy Mills

Billy Mills
The story behind America’s first and only 10,000-meter Olympic champion.

Using the Write Words

Using the Write Words
How an African American Woman Wrote her Way to Freedom.

Everybody Can Be a Hero.

Everybody Can Be a Hero.
How window cleaners brightened the day at a children’s hospital.

Education is for Everyone.

Education is for Everyone.
Reading and writing are the basics of an education. See why a 90-year-old Kenyan great-grandmother went back to primary school.

Laughter is the Best Teacher.

Laughter is the Best Teacher.
How humor and history go together in this classroom.

Courage in a New World.

Courage in a New World.
The story of Stagecoach Mary, the first Black woman to deliver mail in the Wild West.

Something Healthy for All of Us

Something Healthy for All of Us
How 17-year-old Barron Prize Winners Annie and Shirley Zhu provide fresh food for 1,400 people a year.

Including Everybody Means Everybody.

Including Everybody Means Everybody.
How Inclusion Films is making movies using crew with developmental disabilities.

The Brotherhood in Sports Goes Beyond the Field.

The Brotherhood in Sports Goes Beyond the Field.
How a men’s rugby team supported one of their own.

How to Honor Your Mother.

How to Honor Your Mother.
Warrick Dunn played in the NFL for 12 seasons. His most impressive stat: He’s built 200 homes for single mothers. And he’s not done.

The World Awaits You.

The World Awaits You.
The story of the first woman to circumnavigate the world.

Everybody Gets on Base.

Everybody Gets on Base.
Measuring the victories of life, one single at a time.

Beatrice Shilling

Beatrice Shilling
The motorcycle daredevil who became a mechanical engineer and saved the lives of countless pilots in WWll.

Taking Care.

Taking Care.
How one woman turned a life of neglect into a lifetime of taking care of people.

Stay Curious.

Stay Curious.
The remarkable underwater life of Jacques Cousteau.

The Future Belongs to Kids.

The Future Belongs to Kids.
So far, things look pretty bright.

Reach for the Stars…

Reach for the Stars…
No Matter How Long it Takes.

More Than Just Dancing

More Than Just Dancing
How inclusion helps overcome mental illness.

Our Local Heroes in Scrubs.

Our Local Heroes in Scrubs.
How health care workers saved the day.

Sometimes the Wrong Direction is the Right Way.

Sometimes the Wrong Direction is the Right Way.
How a wrong number, a wrong text and a mix-up led to long-lasting friendships.

Fix it Yourself.

Fix it Yourself.
How one couple moved hundreds of miles from home to run a center for pregnant teenage girls.

Turning Tough News Into Hope.

Turning Tough News Into Hope.
How 11-year-old Jordan Phillips raised $120,000 to help fund cancer treatment.

The Legacy of Dorothy Vaughan.

The Legacy of Dorothy Vaughan.
The Hidden Figure who Helped Put a man on the Moon.

Never, Ever Give Up.

Never, Ever Give Up.
The incredible story of the 12-year-old cancer patient who brings joy to half a million children fighting cancer.

For the Cost of a Box of Cereal.

For the Cost of a Box of Cereal.
How just noticing makes all the difference in the world.

No Strings Attached.

No Strings Attached.
How a 7-year-old girl brings joy to neighbors with her violin.

Playtime is for Everybody.

Playtime is for Everybody.
A dad sells off his business and builds a theme park for disabled kids.

Born to Make a Difference.

Born to Make a Difference.
Kids who are changing their world.

Beyond the Moon with an Eye on Mars.

Beyond the Moon with an Eye on Mars.
The story of a young woman who dreamed of pushing the boundaries and now designs launch systems for NASA.

The Little Things that Make the Biggest Difference.

The Little Things that Make the Biggest Difference.
How one man created a forest the size of Central Park by planting one tree a day.

The History of Us.

The History of Us.
How a football coach develops young men by teaching them their own history.

Give Peace a Chance.

Give Peace a Chance.
How a Mexican-American Marine negotiated peace speaking Japanese during WWll.

A Hero for Accessibility.

A Hero for Accessibility.
How an 8-year-old girl captured the attention of the nation and motivated Congress.

Bigger than Life.

Bigger than Life.
How Premier League superstar Sadio Mané is changing the world beyond soccer.

The Art of Pitching.

The Art of Pitching.
A little confidence at the right time goes a long way.

Going Deep to Deliver Kindness.

Going Deep to Deliver Kindness.
Free-dive record holder Enzo Maiorca rescues a trapped dolphin, then watches as it gives birth.

Road Trip Across America.

Road Trip Across America.
A discovery of what unites us.

For Soccer Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, Every Day is Mother’s Day.

For Soccer Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, Every Day is Mother’s Day.
Fortune and fame have allowed the soccer great to take care of his mother after all she has done for him.

Bringing the Moon to your Living Room.

Bringing the Moon to your Living Room.
How 14-year-old Philo Farnsworth tinkered his way to the technology that broadcast the moon landing.

Being a Mother…

Being a Mother…
The roundabout journey to a dream fulfilled.

An Impossible Journey.

An Impossible Journey.
How John Wesley Powell navigated the Colorado River and Grand Canyon in wooden boats.