Blade Brady ('13) on choosing success, surpassing limits

Nicole Arca
"Football taught me that success is simple, even if we try to complicate it in our minds. You just have to decide to achieve something, and not let anything stop you until you do." Read on for some wise words from SC alumnus Blade Brady.

After graduating from Sierra Canyon in 2013, Blade Brady headed to Massachusetts to take Harvard University by storm - and with numerous prestigious internships, including one at Barclays Investment Bank where he worked as a Summer Analyst, it's all going as planned. Blade took the time out of his busy schedule (he just finished writing his senior thesis!) to talk to us about his time at SC and share his wisdom on how to attain success.

You graduated from Harvard with degrees in Sociology and Economics. What led you to study those two subjects?

The Economics and Sociology classes had the cutest girls... That's why I first started taking the classes, ha! But when it came time to actually declare my track, I just thought about it strategically. I looked at all the majors and thought about where my talents fit best, what skills I'd develop in them, and how I could use the knowledge to accomplish my goals after I graduated.

What experiences at SC have the greatest impact on who you are today?

Well, a big part of who you are is who you surround yourself with, so the main way Sierra Canyon has helped shape me into who I am today is through the people I met there. The teachers, coaches, and kids. Even though I've been out of the school for a few years now, some of mentors and people I look up to are parents and coaches at SC, so that's hugely influential.

Most of my best friends to this day, I met at SC. I remember one time B-Tuck said that all the guys on the team are best friends for life, but I really feel more like they're my brothers. Unfortunately, I still haven't recovered the IQ points I lost since meeting Preston and Mike, but the brothers I have from SC are going to be life-long friends. We're gonna be giving toasts at each other’s weddings and raising our kids together. It's rare to find even one friend that you're this close to, and I have like 7 from SC. That's irreplaceable.

Football also had a huge impact. There's more experiences than we have room for here, but one in particular that really shaped me was with Coach Gonzaga. He challenged me to do this workout for a certain time and I did it for longer than what he challenged me to do. Afterward, he told me to remember that, because it shows what you can do when you don't let anybody, including yourself, put limits on you. That's a lesson I'll carry with me forever.

As a football player, how does football affect the way you view other parts of your life – for example, your friendships, your academics, your family?

I could talk about this for a while! Football's probably the biggest reason I've been able to achieve what I have, so far. I feel that football has allowed me to be successful in other parts of my life because it developed a mindset in me that I can use to get through any situation. The most fundamental way it affects how I view life is that football taught me that success is simple, even if we try to complicate it in our minds. You just have to decide to achieve something, and not let anything stop you until you do. I think football teaches this well because it's so violent. There are times in a game when you can't see, can't breathe, whatever, but you gotta keep going if you want to win. This has made life simple for me in a way because I know that if I want to accomplish something, all I have to do is decide not to stop. So success, in areas like academics or your career, is just a choice of how deep you're willing to go.

In terms of my family, football really taught me to be a leader and how to deal with the pressure of people relying on you. A lot of times in life, you'll be in a situation where your family, your kids, whoever, are counting on you to come through, and you have to do it, no matter what it takes. No excuses. Football taught me how to be that person with my team. To always have my teammates' back. So with my family, I always make sure I'm the person they can depend on. I want them to know I'll always be there to protect them, provide for them, and be a role model.

All that being said, football also taught me how to just have fun with life and just act stupid sometimes. You have to work hard at it and it will test you limits, but at the end of the day, it's just a game. So you have to make sure to cherish the good times it gives you.

What was the best piece of advice ever given to you?

"Be Blade."

I've had a lot of great mentors give me great advice, but that's easily the best one. I can't say this came from one person, because a lot of people have given me this wisdom throughout my life. My Uncle Darren and Uncle Eric used to tell me this when I was a kid and got in trouble or felt like I couldn't handle something. As I've gotten older, new mentors I come across tell me the same thing. Nobody can do you better than you.

Blade’s Advice to Seniors

Don't fall into all the of the stress that comes with college acceptances. Things work out in the end, so just put in your work, and whatever happens, happens. It's also important to have fun and make the most out this time you have left with your friends and family. For athletes specifically, just don't let anyone outwork you.
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Sierra Canyon School is a private, independent, non-sectarian, co-educational, college preparatory school for students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12 located in Chatsworth, California. The highly cosmopolitan campus community is reflective of the Greater Los Angeles area and the world at large. Students are empowered to realize their greatest creative, ethical, intellectual and physical promise through small class sizes, a diverse student-teacher culture and a family-like environment.