Bryan Chiu's career as a professional football centre in Montreal has followed the same, distinct pattern: Snap the ball. Take a hit. Keep moving. Keep smiling.
For 35 to 40 left-handed snaps a game. Sixteen to 18 regular-season games a year. Thirteen years. More than 8,000 chances. Few screw-ups.
Now 35, Chiu is at once one of the funniest men in the Canadian Football League (he once told a reporter quarterback Anthony Calvillo was far more familiar with his butt than his wife is), and also one of its most thoughtful.
He has lived a life that has closely resembled how he makes a living with the Alouettes.
"My dad was murdered, actually, when I was two," says Chiu, deep into a long phone interview after a practice in Montreal.
"He was murdered in Vancouver … and [my mom] was left as a 24-year-old widow with two young kids and no job, couldn't speak English, didn't have a driver's licence, didn't have a car, no life insurance from my dad, so she was in debt."
But Teresa Chiu provided for the family, made ends meet, pushed Bryan and his sister through school, "fed us, put clothes on our back."
And she instilled an overriding philosophy that has stayed with her son since then.
"She was my role model. She was the one person who always told me no matter what it is, keep a smile on your face because life is too short not to be happy and not to love what you do."
Snap the ball. Take a hit. Keep moving. Keep smiling.
Whenever I watch Les Alouettes, my mom always sees CHIU on the back of his jersey and says "Hey, a CHIU playing football!".
I really enjoyed reading this article about how a person has overcome adversity to be the best at his profession.
Really good words to live by. Snap the ball. Take a hit. Keep moving. Keep smiling.