What does DOING THE RIGHT THING look like to you?
Contador's attack of Schleck after a dropped chain today reminded me of choices we all face at key moments in competition or life. It is also never a super clear black and white decision or intention to make the correct choice.
I was favored to win my high school state track championship in the 200 yard dash.
The state championship is at the end of the season and you have already established your personal records. You know how good your times are versus the competition months in advance of the end of the season.
I was competing in 2 events - The team 4X100 relay and the 200 yard dash. In case any other old timers are wondering, my 200 yard PR was 20.1 seconds. Our relay team also stood a great chance to win. Both events had at least one qualifying race before the final. I can no longer remember if there were 2 or 3 races per event. But even 4 races in a 3 hour span is pretty tiring and sapping of your strength.
Here was the challenge - The high school senior prom was held the evening of the track championship. So I tried the game plan of no drinking and at least 4 hours of sleep. While I did hold to the game plan, the hot day, emotion of graduating and limited sleep had me pretty wiped.
My coach was supportive when I decided to skip my personal event of the 200 yard dash and focus all effort on the team relay. Truth be told - I may have been the fastest kid in the state at the time. But I was not fast enough to be vying for any track scholarships based on my state championship result. The personal event was important to me but the team event had others counting on me and it was just such a damn fun race with the speed and chaos of baton hand offs!
The 4X100 race -
The gun goes off and I have the first leg of the race. I put our team in a decisive lead and our baton hand off was clean. 10 yards after the handoff our second leg runner smacked wrists with the runner in the lane next to him and drops the baton -
No regrets - I decided to still try and enjoy the prom and give everything for the championship.
I spoke to my friend and second leg runner of the 4X100 relay team last week after connecting through facebook.
30 years later I heard for the first time - "Hey O, it was so cool how you skipped your 200 yard race for the relay event at the state championship". Granted he is still mad that he dropped the baton. But that hardly ever happens after a clean handoff and I barely remembered skipping my personal event. I remembered more clearly how tired I was that day and that it was time to move on.