Jordan's are one of my material weaknesses in the world. They in all sense of God and just plain humanity are a little in humane. They run about $120-170 and are close to half the average household income of a family in Ethiopia.
I show my Jordan's because they symbolize something I had taken for granted today. My blessings!
Most people who know me, know I was born in Korea and was adopted at the age of 3 by two wonderful people in Southern California. I grew up with a loving home and though we didn't have a lot of money we weren't poor.
I write this because of a situation that happened to me today. IT MADE ME REALIZE HOW BLESSED I TRULY AM. Even though we didn't have a lot of money or material wealth I was always blessed with someone in my life who gave me a great opportunity.
Today I was at my girlfriends house on my vacation and I was beginning to mow her lawn. As I made my third or fourth pass down the lawn in the backyard her dog ran towards the front gate. I stopped to see what she was barking at and I saw a middle aged black woman approach the gate. I turned off the mower and headed towards the women. She politely asked," can I do some work for you". I assessed the situation, she didn't appear homeless but not well kept either. I replied, "sorry but this is not my place and I'm already mowing the lawn, thank you but no thank you." She then asked, "Can I have fifty cents"? I again replied, "sorry but I don't have money one me." I knew this was a lie because in my wallet in the house I had $20. She smiled and she kindly went on her way. Me being so apprehensive I went into the house to make sure I locked the front door . For all I know this lady was a crackhead.
As she left I saw her walk down the street pushing a lawn mower and knocking on the door of a few more houses where the lawn appeared to be needing a good mow. I was so embarrassed and I went back to mowing the lawn. As I walked up and down the lawn the guilt and shame started to overflow in my mind. When I was growing up I always had a neighbor like Mr Grover, or Coach like Coach Woodward, or a Mr Eddy, or a Coach Reidmiller that allowed me to mow their lawn or make a few extra dollars, or gave me opportunities that lead me to where I am today. She wasn't looking for a handout.
I pride myself in being a Christian but more so a decent human being. I had just failed miserably. A person who was adopted by two White parents, was half Black and Korean, had made a judgement on a person and didn't help someone less fortunate. Me, with all the blessings that I've received over the last year and I was tested and I hated myself for it. I finished mowing the lawn and I was so distraught and actually had tears in my eyes. I felt so bad because I had the opportunity to help someone and I didn't want to be bothered.
The minute I finished mowing the lawn I went running through the streets like a mad man searching for the women. I found her about three blocks over and she had not found any takers yet. I introduced myself and told her I was a liar and that I was sorry. I handed her the twenty dollars and said that I wish I could give her more. From the initial conversation I didn't see her wonderful smile. Not like it matters but she was mentally challenged, which made me even more shameful. Despite her disability you could see that she was a lover of life and so appreciative, her smile and just the way she carried herself you could see every minute breathing is truly a blessing . I said my good byes and she said I was an angel and God bless. But little did she know that she was the angel and a reminder of how truly blessed I am.
The next time I'm tested will I fail as miserably as I did today? I hope not, Lord willing
9/13/2012 11:45:26 pm
Coach!!! So powerful and so true! You are an amazing person who has touched so many lives! The same you learned today, you taught to me as a athlete. The fact that you can see your struggles and learn from them shows how good god is! Next time you WON'T fail!
9/14/2012 12:06:45 am
Coach...truly you were tested and though initially you may have not passed in the end you did with flying colors. This truly shows the purity of your heart that you had enough strength to not old admit your faults but to public ally share them for others to learn from! You are an amazing person, mentor and human being!
9/14/2012 08:38:02 am
9/14/2012 11:59:11 am
Coach, great lesson to share. We often learn more from the answers we get wrong on a test than the ones we get right easily. You ( and all those with whom you shared) will never forget the correct answer. Thanks for being big enough to put it out there.
10/14/2012 10:48:29 am
Jeremy I just finished the USATF coaching clinic you co taught. Although you might not trust or recognize every opportunity to help a person in need, you do help a lot of people in many ways. We all have our own talents and ways in which to give. I am glad you chose to help the woman. But if you hadn't, it would not have made you a failure. If nothing else this only added to your tremendous success in this regard. And it is because you already give so much of your time and talent, that you went looking for her. Talk about successful training!!
12/9/2013 11:31:40 pm
Jeremy it was real story from great coach and man and yes these days we used to close our eyes over people you just written about...
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Head Coach and founder of Maximum Velocity Athletics.