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I want too borrow from the late Sam Berns to make a few points on my philosophy and how we all can have a happy season. If you have not seen the video, Click on the link below to watch the video...its about 13 minutes long FYI.
1.Be OK with what you ultimately can't do, because there is so much you CAN do.
Myself included, we as a program need to focus on what we CAN do, and less on what we cannot. This can be as simple as coming to practice because we CAN. It can also be more complex, like making sure we are getting good grades in order to stay eligible to compete for our team. Do what you CAN, don't waste energy on dwelling what you cannot do.
Another fun thought I got from Sam in this talk...was never stop dreaming. When something is an obstacle, turn your brain to finding a solution. Make an adjustment. This may require some creativity. Like when Sam and some folks went to designing a snare drum so he could march in the band. Ingenuity, creativity, daring to dream these are things we live for. Its no different in anything we do, whether its the creativity the coaches, offensive line and Jeremy Lujan use to rack up 200 yards and 3 touchdowns, or Sam finding a way to play music and march in the marching band. Its the same. Find a passion you CAN do and pursue it.
Let me spin another point here from Sam and his people designing his snare drum for the marching band. "Necessity really is the mother of invention"...you get the obvious correlation to Sam here. But lets change the domain a bit and the invention. I will use a quick story to illustrate...I have a friend who wanted to continue his elite running career. But he also was in school to be a physical therapist and had a job. His schedule was awful for training. Usually an elite distance runner needs at minimum 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening EVERYDAY to be able to train at the necessary level to compete on the world stage of elite marathoning. However he did not have that luxury in school and with a job. So he invented his training. 30 minutes easy in the morning before school, 30 minutes hard running on lunch midday at school and 30-45 minutes when he got home in the evening. He fit his long run and some other running on the weekends. He ran when he could, fitting it in whenever he could...he stayed happy with what he could do and ultimately did not worry about what he could not. That man won the 1993 World Championship in the Marathon and stands as the only American to win that race in the last 40 years. He used creativity and innovation within his context to become champion.
2.Surround yourself with people you want to be around.
It is my sincere hope that every student athlete wants to be in Track and Field because they want to be a part of the team. I say this with all my heart, if there is any hesitation about wanting to be a part of the team, please come discuss that with me.I know many of you are passionate about other sports and other avenues in life. I understand that, I know Track and Field is not the end all be all of life. But on some level we need each others dedication and willingness to be a part of the team. We need each other for Dakota Ridge to succeed in Track and Field.
"the music that we make together is true its genuine and it superceeds progeria" __Sam Berns
At 6:30 of the talk, Sam begins to talk about those in his life who make him feel alive. rewind it a couple times and just listen to it. Its powerful. Imagine a team, where we are sold out on making each other better everyday by treating each other as friends. There is immense power in every kind thing you do for people. Imagine showing up everyday to enjoy the work you do together because your making great music together. Track and Field is like band in the sense that people have different talents, and when those talents come together the product is great music.
3.Keep Moving Forward
A part of my philosophy with athletics is to learn to love mistakes, learn to embrace failures and learn to bounce back from anything. Mistakes and failures happen. Learning from them to make yourself better is the key. Turn that mistake, failure, bad event into a reason you perform better in the future. KEEP MOVING FORWARD.
4. Never miss a party if you can help it.
We have a couple team dinners, and no doubt there will be conflicts for some of you and thats okay. If you can be there, try to make it. This goes for meets as well, if you can be there try to come watch and cheer for your teammates.
Sam Berns is inspiring because he refused to be defined by his disease. He found passions and he pursued them. While Sam's difficulty was obvious and outward, ALL of us struggle with something. We ALL are trying or need to try to overcome something in our life. Disability, Self-Esteem, Negativity, Fear, you name it. Academics and Athletics provide our lives with rich narratives to help us overcome whatever it is we are trying to overcome. I look forward to our season and watching each student athletes story emerge.