My memories with Sal started back when we were young boys. My mom would always attend his mom’s classes that she taught at our local gym which meant Sal and I got to spend a lot of time together. I remember always looking forward to playing basketball or throwing a football with him when my mom would say that she was going to the gym.
After my family moved gyms, Sal and I parted ways and little did I know the impact he would have on my life when God brought him back into my life many years later down the road. The first time I saw him since we were little was at a middle school track meet. There was talk going around of this big guy from Pleasant Ridge who was a terror to our 8th grade team that year. I happened to look over and find this guy doing high knees on the track with dreads flying up and down and sticking his tongue out which I later find out was a staple move of his on the football field. Once I saw him, I immediately lit up because I knew exactly who he was and felt cool because “I knew him”. Well, two years later we met up when I was a freshman and he was a sophomore at Southwest. He immediately took me under his wing during the football season and would continue to look out for me on and off the football field throughout the next few years.
The heart he had was incredible. There was nobody that ever had an issue with Sal because he loved everybody. He and I had a common passion for lifting and pushing each other in the weight room or on the football field. I remember always being in awe at the internal motor he had driving him to be the best he could possibly be no matter what it was he was doing. That is something he inspired me to implement into my lifestyle.
Another thing I will never forget about Sal is his contagious smile and positive outlook on life. To think about all of the things he had overcome in such a short time is remarkable alone, but he never let any of that or anything else he was dealing with at times bog him down. He would always find a way to shrug it off and put a smile on his face while staying positive and looking ahead. This is another thing that will always stick with me. When I feel down, I remember what Sal had overcome and the consistent positive outlook he always had, reminding myself that it will get better and to look ahead and stay positive.