Motivational Monday: Michael Oher, More Than What “The Blind Side” Shows

michael-oher.jpgYou’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t seen, or at least heard of, the movie The Blind Side. The movie, starring huge names like Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw, chronicles the high school years of Michael Oher. While the 2009 film was a hit at the box office, Oher’s perseverance through the turbulent times in his life are what makes his life so inspirational.

Oher was born in Memphis, TN to a mother who struggled with cocaine addiction and a father who was in and out of jail. In his first 9 years as a student, Oher repeated both first and second grades, attended 11 different schools, and was bounced from foster home to foster home.

Facing so much adversity just by the end of middle school, most would have given up or fallen into a reckless path. Michael Oher saw the importance of his education, and enrolled in Briarcrest Christian School at the suggestion of a friend. It was during his time at Briarcrest that Oher was frequently homeless and struggled with school. In his junior year, Michael Oher was adopted by the Tuohy family who had a son and daughter attending Briarcrest at the time.

After his adoption by the Tuohy’s, Oher’s life took a turning point. Oher quickly became a standout football player, garnering the attention of multiple Division I schools. The Tuohy family hired a tutor to facilitate Oher’s graduation from high school and eventual acceptance into the University of Mississippi to play football.

Since his graduation from Ole Miss, and after the release of The Blind Side, Michael Oher has played in the NFL. Even in his professional career, Oher has faced inconsistency. He has bounced from the Baltimore Ravens to the Tennessee Titans now to the Carolina Panthers. Oher feels as though he has found his home with the Panthers, however, and is fully focused on football, not his tumultuous past or his fame from “The Blind Side”.

"There was a time in my life early in my NFL career where the movie just seemed to take away from me. It made it seem like the movie was responsible for my NFL career, not my play, not my hard work… I don't talk about it too much because I don't want the movie to overshadow my work as a hardworking football player. I do know it's not someone else. I do know it's a part of me." – Michael Oher

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Michael Oher continues to persevere on and off the field, proving that no matter the past, the future can always remain bright.