It’s summer, and 5 a.m. on the farm. His friends, classmates and probably
most of the residents in Owings Mills, Md., are still sound asleep.

Roman Braglio doesn’t have a rooster as an alarm clock. His wake up call is his father.
“Get up, let’s go! We gotta get work done!,” Braglio said recalling his dad’s morning greeting.

Braglio remembers from a young age that beginning at the break of dawn, his dad,
Scott, has always kept him on his toes. He taught him discipline and hard work.

“There is no tomorrow,” Braglio said his dad emphasized.

During the summer, each day usually started with Braglio helping his dad tend to the family farm. He planted, cut grass, cared for the animals; whatever task his dad summoned Braglio to do, it was done.

“I hated it then, but I appreciate it now,” Braglio said.

"Being raised by a single dad his whole life, Roman learned to adjust and do for himself early on," said Scott Braglio. "Living on the farm, the work is never done, from bailing hay to feeding baby cows and goats from a bottle to working well into the night. The clock stops for no one. The old saying is true, 'Gotta make hay when the sun shines."

Braglio, as a boy, couldn’t quite see why his father was so vigorous in everything he did and why he called for him to adopt a similar mindset. But as Braglio grew and evolved into the man he is today, he began to understand his dad was grooming him to have and always maintain a grounded foundation that is good work ethic.

Braglio is confident that his work ethic exceeds expectations, and he says he owes it to his father.

“You can ask the players, the coaching staff; I’m probably one of the hardest workers in the building,” Braglio proclaimed about his efforts playing for the football team at Maryland.

Braglio, though, still recalls how arduous bailing hay was on the farm. “You cut it down, then you got to put in the bail, take the bail and put it in the barn. The hay loft is probably 120 degrees and when it’s dry like that, it goes in your skin and sticks under your fingernails,” Braglio described.

“There’s a difference between country strong and weight room strong. My dad would always say country strong is ‘Man Strong.’”

Braglio figured his dad wasn’t exaggerating after other farm boys in the area would jokingly tease Braglio about working out in the weight room. Their farm-bred strength proved more powerful as Braglio said they would constantly defeat him in arm wrestling competitions.

Braglio’s day-to-day routine on the farm was normalcy, so it didn’t exactly register as a form of working out. Braglio mentioned his daily farm responsibilities to his strength and conditioning coaches, and they implored that he take full advantage of them. He used the tough task of bailing hay, amongst other duties, as an additional avenue to build strength and power for gridiron performance.

The end of summer didn’t mean the end of early mornings for Braglio. His dad continued to wake him up before the sun peaked above the horizon to work out before school.  Already reaching exhaustion, Braglio still had practice after the school day was over.

But he doesn’t resent any of it. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Braglio said. “When I came to Maryland, I was already used to it.”

And Braglio says his dad was the ideal person to mirror in preparation for football and life itself.

“He’s 53-years-old and sometimes works faster than I do. I’m just like ‘Dude, come on,’” Braglio laughingly said.

Braglio is grateful his father held him to high standards. Whether it was sports, working on the farm, or practically anything Braglio decided to do, his dad was always pushing him to give his all and to do it with sincerity and integrity.

And while Braglio’s dad was constantly raising the bar for his son, he did it with a generous amount of love and support, despite being a single parent.

"If you work seven days a week, you're 52 days ahead of everyone else at the end of the year," said Scott. "But we always take time for the things that matter in life and that are important."

“It was not the storybook childhood,” Braglio said.

He grew up without his mother around. Braglio said it was just him and his dad, and sometimes his older half-brother, on the farm.

Braglio recalled in admiration his father’s work ethic and how that frame of mind influenced him.

“Anyone who knows my father knows he’s worked hard for everything he’s got. That’s one thing that definitely has been instilled in me,” Braglio said.

Though his dad had much to juggle between business and the farms, Braglio said his dad was always there at kickoff.

“He’s never missed a game. Like ever,” Braglio said. “Middle school, all through high school, no matter where it was.”

“Now that I’m older, I realize how much it takes for him to drop everything and come to all my games. I told him [at Indiana game], ‘I really appreciate you coming to all my games for the five years I’ve been here. It means the world to me.

“He told me, ‘I told you you’d appreciate it all one day, your dad is always right,’” Braglio said smiling, imitating his dad.

Braglio said his dad has always upheld a character driven by trust and loyalty, and over the years, he inherited such values as well. Braglio said even his girlfriend recognizes how much he emulates his father.

“I can’t help it, I grew up with him for 23 years,” Braglio said in response. “A lot of his values, whether I like it or not, are in me.”

"We like to go hunting and fishing, but we also drag raced for 20 years, something Roman also did at a young age," Scott said. "One of his friends said, 'Mister, you sure are lucky to have all this stuff." My answer was simple, "The harder you work the luckier you get.'

"Roman said, 'What does that mean Dad?" I told him he would figure it out one day.

"I think he has answered his own question at this point."

Since Braglio has been on campus and away from the farm, his father is not always around to ensure he’s maintaining the discipline that was taught to him from a tyke.

“Now it’s time for me to do it myself,” Braglio said. Though sometimes when Braglio struggles to wake up in the morning for a workout, he said he still hears his dad saying, “Get your butt up!”

Braglio values everything his dad had to do to raise him, to help open doors, and to get him where he is now.

“I’m happy with who I am and who I’ve become,” Braglio said. “Life gives you pressure. My dad was always putting me under pressure to help me succeed and do well. Looking back, I can thank him for it."

Working Hard is a special presentation of umterps.com.

 

Glen Charlton is a graduate student in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland and is a contributing writer to umterps.com.

 

All rights reserved.

It’s summer, and 5 a.m. on the farm. His friends, classmates and probably
most of the residents in Owings Mills, Md., are still sound asleep.

Roman Braglio doesn’t have a rooster as an alarm clock. His wake up call is his father.
“Get up, let’s go! We gotta get work done!,” Braglio said recalling his dad’s morning greeting.

Braglio remembers from a young age that beginning at the break of dawn, his dad,
Scott, has always kept him on his toes. He taught him discipline and hard work.

“There is no tomorrow,” Braglio said his dad emphasized.

It’s summer, and 5 a.m. on the farm. His friends, classmates and probably most of the residents in Owings Mills, Md., are still sound asleep.

Roman Braglio doesn’t have a rooster as an alarm clock. His wake up call is his father. “Get up, let’s go! We gotta get work done!,” Braglio said recalling his dad’s morning greeting.

Braglio remembers from a young age that beginning at the break of dawn, his dad, Scott, has always kept him on his toes. He taught him discipline and hard work.

“There is no tomorrow,” Braglio said his dad emphasized.