Looking up from the front

Christopher - Milford, Indiana
Entered on December 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Go, go, go were the words my old assistant cross country and track coach so often used to say. I spent four years of track and cross country hearing his repeated chant. During those years I spent a lot of time at the back of the pack. I never really made an impact scoring on the team. Dave, the assistant coach of whom I have been speaking, said that although I did not run with the front, I was a perfect example of a runner who made an impact no matter how far behind I might have been.

Success in the running world and in most places is measured by performance. When someone makes an impact, usually it is because of some sort of great performance they have given. The truth lies in the vast area of grey between the black and white lines that life so often deals us. While most of the other teams may see an average runner, the eyes of my teammates saw more than that. Although I am currently an accounting major, my truest belief in is that you cannot measure success with number.

So much of this life is so unfriendly, so faceless, especially in this day and age where technology often makes communication come without a face. The faces and what lies inside is what defines people. Call it cliché or whatever you would like, but it is what is on the inside that counts. You look at the score and I was never a large contributor to the team, but the truth is no such idea. On the course, sometimes you have to look back at someone you look up to.

Saying what you believe is difficult. As a runner I realize the value of performance and winning the race, but this is very contrary to what I truly believe. I believe that in life success is not dictated by performance. It does not make sense that someone tramples over his competitors to have the biggest paycheck. His paycheck exceeds others, but this man is not successful. A millionaire can retire at forty-five and collect seashells for the rest of his days on a beautiful Florida beach but when he passes they are just seashells. I believe that there is something greater to live for. After running for so many years my belief is clear: crossing the finish line first does not mean you win. Success is not about having it all. I think it is more about being willing to give it all up. Be kind, work hard, and do right. Go, go, go!