We Get Up Because We Can

By John Rezell, Executive Editor, SportsEvents Magazine

I didn’t have much of an athletic career in my youth, which is probably why I could appreciate all athletes as a sports writer.

In fact, I consider the highlight of my high school athletic career to be something most people would consider the low point — one of those memories you try to forget rather than remember.

But I’ll always remember.

It came at a cross country invitational on a brisk Wisconsin autumn morning. As a group of 70 or more of us charged down a hill, I felt the sharp pain of a runner’s spike dig into my knee.

I stumbled for a moment and felt the wind of a hoard of runners blow by me. I regained my stride for a short while, but my knee wasn’t cooperating. It wasn’t really pain that held me back. My knee just didn’t have the strength to run full speed.

I looked down and saw a trickle of blood. Nothing serious. I thought about stopping, but heck, I was already deep into the woods in the park and the only known route to the finish was the course. So I continued.

Runners continued to pass me until, ultimately, there was no one left to do so. I continued on, kind of dragging my leg with me. By the time I got to the finish line only a few dedicated volunteers remained.

Dead last. But I finished.

Little did I know that it wasn’t just a piece of the story of my life, but everyone’s lives. Everyone has days like that. Everyone faces failures. What defines us is how we handle them.

U.S. Figure Skating just launched a website dedicated to that lesson. It’s called WeGetUp.com.

Few things are tougher to navigate than ice, especially when you decide to take it on wearing a thin blade. You fall. Everyone falls. But, you get up. We all get up.

Really, that’s the best lesson that athletics teaches us. Get up and try again. And again. And once more if necessary. Whatever it takes. We get up.

So if you’re having one of those days and you need some inspiration, check it out.