“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” — Wilma Rudolph, U.S. gold medalist in track and field
At some point we’ve all been made to feel that greatness was not meant for us. That it had been placed on a shelf just out of reach– reserved for the few, for those predestined, or already there. Any one other than ourselves. I believed this for a long time, too. I emulated others without any real expectation of replicating (read: I compared too much). But what I’ve come to believe– truly, fully– is that greatness isn’t just for the selected few. Greatness is for any of us. Any of us who are willing to seek, to fight, to push to obtain it. Five years ago I probably wouldn’t have thought this way. But I’ve been witness to much greatness in that time– and it hasn’t always looked exactly the way I thought it might. This is most certainly a good thing.
I’ve found that sometimes greatness is a start line stay after months of broken ones. It is maintained criteria. It is a personal best YPS. It is qualifying for nationals, tryouts, regionals, or invitationals. It is double-Q’s and single Q’s and non-Q’s. It is championships and novice runs. It is a dog happy to work again when the ring is no longer cloaked in fear. It is health. It is just being able to walk to the line with your teammate at all. It is confidence, and bravery, and tenacity and stubbornness and absolute brilliance. It is the connection we’ve created and strengthened. Greatness is recognizing the simplest joys.
Greatness is so much more than results.
Finding it means raising our expectation for ourselves, not lowering the bar for anyone. You cannot fear making mistakes– despite living in a society that shames us away from doing just that. Mistakes, failures, and shortcomings are the only the things that show us the right way to go. Don’t let anyone tell you how far you and your dog can go. Don’t expect them to understand your journey either. Expand your definition of what greatness is– I refuse to be limited by the narrow meaning I gave it just a few years ago.
Greatness is daring to envision a dream bigger than any before it. Greatness is whatever we chose to make it.
Greatness is ours for the taking.
Go find it.