In case you’ve been under a rock in my world lately, the third season of the Invictus Award Challenge has started airing. It’s available at http://www.pacorabanne.com/invictus . I’ve been consumed by it over the past 11 days, trying to get the word out and garner as many votes as possible by June 30th. I’ve mostly been posting on Instagram (@mrjameslorenzo), Facebook and twitter (thejameslorenzo). Every other day or so, sending out reminding texts to my contacts and sending out announcements on WhatsApp and Snapchat. Currently, Im sitting in 2nd behind an italian-hunk of a guy, Mario. Voting started 11 days ago, on June 1st.
During the first few days, the competitors and I were all switching positions. I went from 3rd to 5th to 2nd, back to 4th and then settled at 2nd. I’ve been in 2nd for the majority of the competition. Thats cool, except Mario has been in first place since the polls opened. Intially, that bothered me. One because there is $50,000 on the line and I just don’t like losing. But first and foremost, I’m fighting to win for Swagg County, USA, my youth football team back in DC. If I win, they will receive my earnings. I was in my feelings because I was still in 2nd. I thought I would be ashamed and would disappoint people if I don’t win. However, after talking to friends and family, I realized I have nothing to be ashamed about.
I’m from a city where its great if you make it out, but you CAN’T come back. Thats a no-no. Coming back to celebrate your success in my old neighborhood is rare. I see successful athletes and actors – all from my hometown of DC – and they are giving back, but to other cities and the kids from that city. I can’t be mad at them because there are many cases of those same type of successes coming back to “the hood”, and being robbed or hurt. But I’m trying to change the narrative. I not only want to come back, but I want to give back. I want to pay it forward to some children, so when they become successful and want to come back and celebrate with the neighborhood they grew up in, they won’t have preconceived notions. Just the fact that I’m fighting for my city on a grand scale has brought pride to my family, my friends and the kids from my city. I may not win but the hood loves me.