“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” (Mark Twain)
Don’t be afraid…just believe. (Mark 5:36)
For the past month or so, I have been searching for members of two of my former Cross-Country teams. I probably could have said two of my “old” teams since one was from 1979 and the other from 1983. Let’s see,..that would make them all in their mid to late 50’s. How on earth did they get so old! They could be parents or possibly even grandparents by now! How they must have changed over the years!
Some I have been able to stay in touch with over the years, but most I have not seen since they graduated from high school. Each of those teams will be honored by being inducted into the Narragansett Regional Hall of Fame on October 21 in recognition of the All-State Championships that each team won. While their accomplishment obviously doesn’t measure up in importance to recent hurricanes, Harvey, Irma, Jose, Maria or to the earthquake in Mexico, it’s still an impressive feat in the local scheme of things. How many people can claim to have been a part of such an accomplishment. Today, being the very best at something is often considered too much of a challenge. We want more teams to feel like they’re the best, so we have leagues, divisions and classes so that a team can win over a smaller selection of teams–teams that may be smaller or less talented than the one, very best team. We don’t want our children to feel less adequate or less appreciated, so everyone gets a trophy or a ribbon.
The young men (actually, middle-aged men) that will be recognized for their accomplishment really were the best in the entire state. There were no divisions or classes for those races. It was simply them against the rest of the state and the state lost. Was it easy? Definitely not! They had to devote time, energy and lots of sweat. I’m proud of each and every one of them. And I’m equally proud of all those who, over the years, tried, but never reached that pinnacle of success. Nevertheless, they made the effort. they, too, worked hard to the best of their abilities and earned personal success. I never had the ability to run fast for long distances, but by just being around these hardworking and dedicated young men, I became a better runner and, ultimately a better person.
So, as Mark Twain also said, “Throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Who knows where your greatest success may lie?