Thursday, June 30, 2005


I ran cross-country and track in high school.

I will even brag that I was a two-time Missouri state champion.

One of the reasons that I had so much success at it was, I believe, because at one point, I was getting my ass handed to me.

I took a bunch of lumps as a freshman when I ran varsity, especially my first season of cross country. That one season alone taught me things about myself that I never knew.

I didn't win a single meet that year. I learned that what physical gifts I thougt I had were not enought against others who were either equally gifted, or were willing to work harder. I think that I maybe finished as high as tenth in my best performance that year, nearly qualified for state as well, but running that season was the hardest thing that I had ever done. Probably still is.

Fortunately, I wasn't a complete failure at it, and I knew that as I got older, my training would get better and my strength would increase. I eventually became a rather dominant runner, and even ran collegiately, however breifly. I never would have gotten even that far if I hadn't fallen a few times along the way, testing my will to get back up. When I read this,

"I also do not believe that any school or parent can "teach" self-esteem to a youngster. That's a quality kids learn on their own, through competition, hard work, success and yes... even failure. Sometimes, getting the shit beat out of you makes you stronger than you were before. It's a valuable lesson in life."

I was reminded of that lesson I learned a long time ago.



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