T hough Demarco McNair still would like to play in the National Football League someday, he's learned to cope if such a dream never comes true.
Today, McNair, a former Middle Tennessee State star running back from Thomson, works as a certified personal fitness trainer at the Thomson Family Y, across from McDuffie Regional Medical Center on West Hill Street.
"I love working with people and helping them reach their personal goals," said Mr. McNair, who just celebrated his first anniversary of employment with the Thomson Family Y. "It's fun to offer them tips about exercising or using the exercise machines."
As far as the NFL is concerned, Mr. McNair still would love it if a team were to call for his services.
"It's still in my mind, but I can't sit around and dwell on playing professional football when that might never happen," lamented Mr. McNair. "It's still my biggest dream. I came back home to get a job and move on with my life. If it happens, it would be great, but if it doesn't happen, I'm still going to be all right."
He said he'd consider an offer from an NFL team. He feels his fate rests in the hands of God as far as someday getting the opportunity to play professional football.
"I really want to play a few seasons in the NFL so I can help some people out, financially," said Mr. McNair. "That's my ultimate goal."
Since graduating from college, the 25-year-old Mr. McNair, a former football star at Thomson High School, has learned that putting God in control of his life is the best way to travel through life.
"I've learned a lot about life," he emphasized. "It's not really in your hands. God has the ultimate plan laid out for all of us. If it's meant to be that I play in the NFL, it will happen. If not, it won't. It's that simple."
Since college days, Mr. McNair has kept his body in the best physical shape possible. He continues to work out everyday.
"I'm ready if some team was to make that call," he said.
Mr. McNair said since turning it all over to God, his life has been less stressful.
And now that he has a fulltime job and living back in Thomson, he's about to become a homeowner for the first time.
"I'm looking firward to buying my own home soon," said Mr. McNair. "That's going to be a proud feeling for me."
Mr. McNair, who is the proud father of 7-year-old son, Kamiram McNair, a rising second grader at J.A. Maxwell Elementary School in Thomson, is looking forward to raising his son in their new home.
"It's going to be great to have our own home," added Mr. McNair, noting his son is going to love it."
He currently resides with his mother.
Mr. McNair, who earned a history degree at Middle Tennessee State where he played college football, said he was inspired to become a history major after having been a student in John Barnett's history class at Thomson High School.
"Coach Barnett made history fun," said Mr. McNair of his former teacher and football coach. "He's not the average teacher. He's a relaxed teacher -- a real people-person. I enjoyed his class a lot."
Mr. McNair, who describes himself as a deep-thinker and frequently meditates, said he is fortunate to have a job like he has at the Thomson Family Y.
"I've got a great boss and co-workers and I'm able to make a living," said Mr. McNair. "I get to see a bunch of smiling faces everyday. What more could I ask for?"