When I was a kid, the majority of my afternoon was spent atop a green GT Performer bicycle. I’d usually come home dirty and my mom would yell at me for ruining my new sneakers. The only reason my parents bought me a Nintendo was to keep me indoors and save money in annual sneaker expenses. In retrospect, my feet continued to grow so I still needed new sneakers frequently. My parents didn’t think that through logically. They should have just gotten me a gi. Removing my sneakers before entering a dojo would have accomplished the same thing as video games, and I could done something way cooler with my life, like Tyler Ransom.
If you’ve never heard of Tyler Ransom, it’s probably because he’s too young to be competing in professional MMA. Outside the gym, Tyler battles with Nephrotic Syndrome and depends on a backpack full of medication to keep his kidneys from shutting down and releasing protein into his urine. That doesn’t stop him from going from one gym to the next in California to roll with some of the biggest names in the sport today. What makes him special is that he’s doing it to raise money for a noble cause (not just to get beat up for fun like Aaron Tru). He posts videos of his adventures on his blog, and if you have an extra couple of dollars in your pocket this holiday season, you may want to consider pledging a small donation instead of buying more fleece socks for your significant others.