Athletes, often disregarded as cogs in a billion-dollar machine, can sometimes provide some of the most incredible human stories about overcoming adversity to earn success. From conquering injuries on the field to threats to his very life, James Conner's story is a particularly powerful one.
Now, Conner has documented his journey with a memoir, entitled "Fear is a Choice," and Steelers fans should grab a copy and read it as soon as possible.
Conner's career began in Pittsburgh, where he developed into a breakout star as a running back with the Pitt Panthers. Then, a torn MCL put a massive road block in front of Conner's NFL hopes. But what happened next was far worse.
Amid rehab, a diagnosis revealed the presence of Hodgkin's lymphoma, and cancer became Conner's most prominent fight. In a time where some may succumb to fear and the disease, Conner stood taller than ever before, proudly declaring, "Fear is a choice. I choose not to fear cancer."
That would become not only the title of his memoir, but the message of his life. Conner became cancer-free within a year, and took to the field again in 2016. The rest is history.
Conner's memoir recounts his arduous struggle with cancer, but also highlights the faith that guided him along the way. Through his story, Conner wants to inspire others to consume fear and embrace life's challenges themselves.
That is a message that transcends the lines of the football field. Conner is an inspiration, not only to all Steelers fans, but all human beings, and we certainly need a story like his now more than ever.