Gut Rumbles

January 09, 2010

Beggars and choosers

Originally published August 28, 2004

I've been watching the Olympics a lot lately since I learned that all the babes aren't just on the wimmen's beach volleyball team. What can I say? I'm a dirty old man and I enjoy watching lithe, nubile wimmen in skimpy costumes when they show off their skills.

One of the announcers said last night that more than 10,000 athletes are in Greece to compete in these games. That sounds like a LOT, until you consider how many people exist in this world; only then can you realize what a select few outstanding performers you're watching.

I've been GOOD at a lot of things in my life, but I've never been GREAT at anything. It's not that I didn't TRY to be great, but I simply didn't have what it took to get there.

How do you become the BEST IN THE WORLD? I believe in three qualities that I've seen EVERY champion athlete display.

First, you must have the physical ability. That's a blessing of birth and a LOT of people have those blessings and end up in jail. That alone is not enough, but you've got to have that quality first.

Second, a strong work ethic. Physical ability will carry you a long way when you're a big fish in a little pond, but if you're not HUNGRY, the other big fish will eat you alive as you try to move up the ranks. That pond gets bigger every step of the way.

Third, a fierce competetive instinct. Have you noticed how many athletes who didn't win medals posted their personal best scores in the farking OLYMPICS? They went out and DID THEIR BEST, even when they probably KNEW that they couldn't win. To me, that shows the heart of a champion, but it also shows the fact that one slightly missing ingredient in my formula is enough to keep you good, but not great.

Nobody in the Games got where they are today without physical ability, hard work and a desire to achieve. They were CHOOSERS. They busted their asses for YEARS to get to those Games. And I don't care if some guy from some country I never heard of finishes dead last in some event. I'll still cheer him.

He's no beggar.

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