#027: Sometimes You Gotta Let The Hero Stories Inspire You

Rudy. Rudy! Rudyyyyyyyyy!

Today’s edition of Inside The Minds reminds you to believe in yourself and the dream that you have.

Today we’re talking about the one, the only Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger.

Your dream, no matter how outlandish or “unrealistic”, is worth every ounce of effort, time and energy you can muster.

Here’s the story…

Daniel Ruettiger was born in 1948 as the third child of fourteen.

Growing up, his father loved one other thing as much as he loved all fourteen of his children - Notre Dame football.

As a kid, Daniel’s dream quickly became clear. He wanted to play football for the Fighting Irish.

So starting at a young age, Daniel worked as hard as any little kid could. Ultimately, in his last two years in high school, he led his team in tackles.

At first glance, he looked like a strong scholarship recruit.

However, there were three main problems:

Rudy was just 5’6”, 160lbs and had a terrible time in school due to his dyslexia.

He was “good” in high school but he wasn’t fit to play with the big boys at Notre Dame. That’s what he was always told.

After not getting any opportunity to play football out of high school, Rudy ended up working at his father’s plant with his best friend Pete.

One horrific afternoon, Pete got caught in a terrible industrial accident and his life was taken.

Like tragedy often does, Rudy was shaken to his core and snapped into one singular thought - follow his dream. That’s what Pete would have wanted.

So Rudy applied to Notre Dame. And was denied. Three times…

Yet, still, Rudy found a way to provide value to the school and keep his dream alive.

He became the stadium groundskeeper for the Fighting Irish. During his time walking the stadium, he would always say to others around him…

“I’m gonna run through those tunnels one day.”

Rudy finally applied for the 4th and final time before the last deadline of the year and was approved due to his consistency and behavior around the campus.

Notre Dame wanted people who wanted to be there.

Rudy soon tried out for a walk-on spot for the Fighting Irish since he was now eligible.

Out of 15 players, Rudy was one of two kids taken.

After endlessly getting the sh*t kicked out of him physically, Rudy’s teammates started to appreciate the grit and determination that he had for coming ready to play every single practice.

They encouraged him to approach the head coach and demand to dress out and play in at least one game before his time at Notre Dame was over.

A few players even went in with him and said they wouldn’t play in the final game unless Rudy got his shot.

On Nov. 8, 1975 - Rudy was told he was going to dress out for the game, his first time ever.

Playing Georgia Tech, Rudy stepped onto the field for the first time and played two snaps.

On the second and last play of his career on the Fighting Irish, Rudy sacked Rudy Allen, the Georgia Tech QB.

Dream accomplished.

What’s your big life dream?