Can I Ask You Another?

Hayward Field, Oregon 2009
Hayward Field, Oregon 2009
World Championships, Finland 2009
World Championships, Finland 2009

What is Lane 8?

Lane 8 is the worst lane in Track & Field.  Fast runners are put in the middle lanes and slower runners are assigned the outer lanes.  The slowest competitor is always assigned Lane 8.

And in the 400 meters, which I compete in, you stay in your lane the entire race.  The way the starting lines are staggered, makes it look like Lane 8 is way out in front, when in fact, it’s the exact same distance as the others.

So many consider lane 8 the worst lane because you cannot see any of the other competitors, until they pass you.

My goal is to be in Lane 8, the worst lane.  And I also don’t care if I come in last.  Seriously.

Our son (9) says, “Dad, you want the worst lane and you don’t care if you come in last?”

(Pause for effect, and read each of the next three sentences with decent pauses in between)

“That’s right, son, Lane 8.  In the finals.  At the World Championships.”

I continued the answer for our son, “You can come in last and still be the eighth best in the entire world.”

I then shared the moral of the story with our son:

“You can go through life and set the bar low, reach it, but then live with the regret of wondering what you could have done if you tried harder.  Or, you can set the bar ridiculously high, fail, and yet live with peace because you know in your heart you did your very best.”

Ya with me?

By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.