Saturday, November 6, 2010

Black Socks

Before our big races, my coach tells us a story about a freshman who ran in Washington.

He was a good runner and had had a really good track season. He wore black socks to every race; when his teammate asked him why, he replied that he wore them to mourn the loss of his competitors. He was determined to do his best.

The day before the district meet, his coach found him staring at the records board. He was so focused that he didn't even blink when his coach walked by - he was focusing on the freshman record. His eyes were fixed on that number. He was preparing to break that record.

Come the next day, the 2-mile started. In his division, the top two from each race would go on to state. There were two seniors that won every race and it was simply understood that they would be the two to go on to state. They lead the race until the last 800 meters, when the freshman passed them in a dead sprint. Think about this, there is still 800 to go! That's half a mile, and this kid is already sprinting! The seniors took a look at each other and realized: with that kid in front, one of them wasn't going to state, and they took off after him. For 800 meters, these guys were right with each other, sprinting as hard as they could. Stride for stride, they crossed the finish line and collapsed. The race officials couldn't tell who won, so they gathered videos and pictures from the crowd. In the end, they determined that the seniors were first and second, leaving our fighting freshman third and unqualified for state. But think about it, he absolutely shattered the freshman record. He ran that race with everything that he had.

The next summer, he died in a car accident. Districts was his last race. He had given everything that he had that race, he had left everything on the track.

There is something that we all can learn from him. It may not be death that takes us from something. It could be an injury, it could be an attitude, an experience or circumstance. But we never know when something will be our last. Live every moment as if it matters - it counts more than you think.

As a freshman, this boy taught so many. By striving to be the absolute best that he could be, he bettered the lives of those around him as well. He taught us that, as we fight for something good, it doesn't matter if someone gets there first. The good is still achieved. He taught us that there are opportunities all around us just waiting for us to pick them up and make the most of them.

Most importantly, he taught us of the importance of "leaving it all on the track" every day. Of living life to its fullest. Not by cramming life full of things to do, but by soaking up everything. By including the Lord in the little, daily decisions about what He would have each of us do. That's what leaving it all on the track is truly about. Living life for the Lord. Always.

As you go through life, wear black socks. Wear black socks to mourn the loss of things that may hold you back. Your fears. Your doubts. Your shortcomings. Black socks for the loss of a life lived unfulfilled. For Satan's losing battle. For the things you conquer. Go out there and achieve your full potential. Go out there and wear black socks.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness Dani! I just happened upon your blog (which I love) and I am so glad I read this! It was truly inspiring. Do you know that I gave Lauren black racing socks at the beginning of the season? :) I am seriously going to think about remember this incredible analogy. Thank you so much! And p.s. I love you.