I never played any sports. I don’t even watch any sports now. Back in high school I used to do a 20+ minute mile because instead of running a mile like I was supposed to, I was walking the track with the rest of the losers and slackers who could think of a million other things they’d rather be doing than running and reaping all the benefits that come with it- cramps, burning lungs, sweat, light-headedness.
The coaches always wanted me to play football because even in high school I was already six feet tall and I had a pretty large frame (a svelte 190lbs). I showed up to a few practices but once it started infringing on my after school time I quit.
Back when I was walking my mile and complaining about how much running sucks, the PE coach would say “You should consider yourself lucky because there are a million people out there in wheelchairs or bed-ridden that can’t use their legs anymore. Could you imagine if one day they suddenly got their legs back? They’d jump out of their beds so fast and they’d run down the street, down the block, to the end of town, they’d just run and they would have the biggest smiles on their faces and their hearts would be filled with joy and they’d thank God for giving them this opportunity to run again even if it was just for this little while. Meanwhile, you’re complaining? You’re complaining because God gave you these big, strong legs, a healthy heart, lungs, and all your other body parts and organs that seem to be in fine working condition?” My response to that as a smartass teenager was “so?”
As an older, wiser adult I realize that my PE teacher was right. I am so blessed to be so healthy, big, and strong. But what have I done with these gifts? Mostly eat junk food and watch a lot of television. In the movie “A Bronx Tale,” Robert Deniro’s character tells his son that the worst thing in life is wasted talent. I would have to agree. I do think that the worst thing in life is wasted talent.
So what now? I can sit here and dwell on my wasted years and wasted talent. But I think I’d rather take Iron Maiden’s sage advice, “So understand, don’t waste your time always searching for those wasted years. Face up, Make your stand and realize you’re living in the golden years.”
What does that mean? It means what Doc Brown told Marty, “the future’s not yet written. The future’s what you make it.”
We are not defined by our past so don’t let the things you did or didn’t do hold you back. The decisions we make TODAY shape our future. So get off your butt and chase your dreams. Whatever is in your past is prelude to the awesomeness that lies ahead if you take action now.
In Terminator 2, one of Sarah Connor’s defining moments was when she carved “NO FATE” into the picnic table. “There’s no fate but what we make for ourselves.” It was at this point when she was fed up with everything that had happened so far up to that point, and what she saw could happen if she did nothing to stop it, so she decided that enough was enough. She was going to change the future. Everybody needs a defining moment. That moment when you finally say “Enough is enough” and finally take control of your future. Don’t dwell on the Wasted Years, These are your Golden Years.
Now Get Up and Get Crackin!