In the great football film "Any Given Sunday," Al Pacino says to his team in a halftime call to action, "Life's this game of inches… The inches we need are everywhere around us, they're in every break of the game, every minute, every second…"
My life's journey couldn't be described any better.
There was a time growing up where it was impossible to get the stench of fish off my hands. Raised on a farm in Ka'a'awa, most of my formative years were spent gutting and scaling fish or working in the banana and papaya fields. Unlike most kids my age, I didn't have school, then chores, then playtime; I had work, then school, then work.
While I resented it at the time, the work ethic instilled in me would become instrumental in my personal and professional life, starting with its application to my first true love -- the sport of wrestling.
My freshman year in high school, I was led by friends to the sport of wrestling. By my senior year, I led those friends to Kahuku High School's first state title in 19 years. My passion for wrestling is a product of all that the sport has taught me. Wrestling builds character, requires focus, accuracy, and an unyielding determination, it demands excellence. Working in news media builds, requires, and demands exactly the same, which is why I've grown equally passionate about the profession.
I got my start in news following my junior year at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. It was then that I made the decision to swap out my wrestling singlet for a suit and tie, to leave the sport that I loved and become a sports anchor for Clarion's news station. After college in 2008, I returned home and landed an internship with KGMB9.
I put my head down and for seven unpaid months, worked as hard as I could, always looking for the inches around me -- a way to fill a need, to add value, a way to become a necessary part of the whole.
This work contributed to earning me roles in producing, editing, shooting, and reporting. Through these roles I've been fortunate to have traveled to nine states, and four countries, covering assignments such as the Little League World Series, to flying on a C-17 with soldiers returning from Iraq.
It's been a phenomenal journey thus far, and although my hands don't stink of fish anymore, I'm still that same country boy, working to find and make the most of those game changing inches around me.
Brenton Awa joined the KITV4 News team as a reporter in April 2013.
Stories by Brenton Awa