Saturday, March 25, 2006

Big Man on Campus

They say you can never go home again. Maybe you can't, but you can go back and pick up the lost pieces of your past.

On Friday and Saturday I was back on my undergraduate campus, Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, to speak, to socialize, and to run. Among the highlights was meeting with the track and cross-country team of John's Hill Elementary School. Imagine, me, speaking to a group of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade runners!

I wasn't sure what to talk to them about, but all of a sudden what came out was the story of Steve Jones missing the world's record in Chicago by just a few seconds. And his reaction to that. And about how some people would have seen that as a failure, but not Steve. He ran true to himself and that's all that matter.

And then what came out [and by this time I'm just along for the ride] was that there is a big difference between failure and defeat. We all fail. But we don't have to be defeated. And, I told them, it will be their reaction to failure that will determine the outcome of their lives. If they use failure to fuel them, to energize them, to create the fever to go on, then they will never be defeated.

It all sounded pretty good to me. And they seemed interested!

Saturday morning the Decatur Running Club put on the "Penguin in the Park 5K" and I got to see what it's like to be a part of a small, local, running community. It was fantastic. And I finished in the top 115 finishers! [As you can imagine, there weren't many behind me!]

All-in-all a great time.


ORN: 5K, 34:55, 10/1

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