Archive for Thursday, August 21, 2008

Knowning how to win

August 21, 2008

Watching the Olympics and seeing what Michael Phelps has accomplished makes one realize how important encouragement is from family, friends, coaches and in general the people around us. His coach, Bob Bowman, saw something in him at age eleven and has continued to work with him all his growing up years clear to the Olympics. He is a great winner and we are so proud of him. We are also very proud of all the young people regardless of country, who have worked so hard to achieve their goal. Each of them had to have that special word of encouragement from someone special.

How many of us can look back on our own life and remember someone special who gave us the encouragement and the willingness to win that is needed. It is important to know "how to win" and also know at the same time how to "handle a win."

As of this writing, Ada and I are in Branson, Mo., for some R&R. On the drive down we stopped in Springfield to visit Wayne and Joan Seymour. Wayne graduated from Lansing High in 1949 and was part of the team of Lansing basketball players that went to state. To my knowledge, no sports team from Leavenworth County had previously gone on to a state tournament.

That team had set a goal on the grade school wall next to Highway 73 in 1944 when they were in the seventh and eighth grades. They made up their minds then that when they got to high school they would go to state. Back then that was a goal compared to going to the Olympics now.

A lot of us are discouraged as well as encouraged when we talk about our dreams. There will always be a few that will tell us, "it can't be done." We can't listen to them. In my own life, I can remember the boost I got from Bill Wenzel and Kenny Thompson when I decided to go into business for myself and buy the sign company. This took putting our home up for collateral and taking a lot of chances. They both told me "Go for it, we know you can do it."

Thanks Bill and Kenny, and our kids who helped make it successful.

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