During my regular visit to the non-fiction, new book shelves in the Penn Yan Public Library, I discovered Broken Road, a book written by local football celebrity Tony Collins and Bethany Bradsher.
Tony’s exceptional power and speed as a running back thrilled fans at Penn Yan Academy, East Carolina University and the New England Patriots. In each venue, he established records that still stand today.
Tony’s occupational hazard throughout his remarkable career was pain, but painkillers upset his stomach, so when he played for the Patriots, he chose to use marijuana for his nausea. That decision ultimately led to more hardcore substances and the dark abyss of drug addiction. Today, Tony blames no one but himself for his own bad choices.
After eight years of destructive addictions, Tony found the courage to escape the nightmare he created for himself. The power to turn his life around came from Trudy, the woman who gave him unconditional love and support, and God who gave him the opportunity, self confidence and peace of mind to change.
Today, Tony speaks to high school athletes about making good choices. In Broken Road, where he records the mountains and valleys in his life, Tony writes:
"I truly believe that nothing is wasted in God's economy, and He intends for me to use the struggles of my life to help others make better choices."
May God be with Tony in that enterprise.