CeeJae Shuford | Faces of Midland
The Choices You Make
For CeeJae Shuford, life is about the decisions you make. Whether it is related to a sport or a career, these decisions shape us. He believes it is up to us to find the strength to make them, and double down on them.
CeeJae considers his journey to powerlifting as a point in his life where he had to make one of those life-altering choices. Prior to powerlifting, Ceejae’s sports journey centered squarely around football. That is until a coach encouraged him to look into powerlifting.
“I was really focusing on football, and one day we were working out and my coach told me that I should try powerlifting. At first, I didn’t want to give it a try. Then, I told my parents about it and they were telling me to just try, so I did. After the first couple of weeks, I wanted to quit because I didn’t know anybody and it just seemed awkward. I wasn’t used to that environment, and none of my buddies were on the team either.”
Despite the hesitant start, CeeJae grew to appreciate powerlifting, and found success growing as both an individual and an athlete. However, it began to conflict with football, and a decision had to be made.
“It just so happened that I ended up winning state as a freshman in powerlifting in high school, and that was really rare. I think from that point on, a lot of things changed for me. It changed my perspective on powerlifting and I kept doing it. I was still playing football at the same time, and I was bringing to football a technique I picked up powerlifting. It rubbed guys the wrong way and it changed the culture in football. At that point, I was starting to accept that football wasn’t taking me as far as powerlifting could, and sometimes you have to come to that realization.”
Making the decision to step away from football and double down on powerlifting is what led CeeJae to come to Midland and join the powerlifting program. Midland didn’t come without major decisions for CeeJae, namely settling on a degree in digital marketing.
“I want to be on the big stage when it comes to videography, running social media accounts and developing video for these events. It took me a long time to realize that’s what I wanted to do. I started off as a business intelligence major and while it was really interesting, it just wasn’t the right fit.
CeeJae reflects on switching from business intelligence to digital marketing at Midland, and sees a future where he is pursuing his passion in videography and camera-work. For CeeJae, this is the time to come to these realizations. Whether it is in what you choose to be involved in, or what you decide to do with your life, these decisions have a profound impact on who you will become.
“It does take time to make these decisions. But at the same time, life does happen fast. I’d say to pray on it, first and foremost, and keep looking at all the factors. You have to look around and form that idea of what you want to do, and lean on the people in your life every day. Communicate and reach out to those people, and don’t quit.”
CeeJae Shuford is a junior digital marketing major from Abbeville, LA. To share your story or nominate a friend, email email@example.com or post using #FacesofMidland.