And then, like she had read my mind, an old staff member sent me the following video in a sick attempt to make me weep uncontrollably at my desk ... she succeeded, but she ALSO got me thinking about how wonderful the human spirit is and how much we can learn when we don't win.
So, without further ado, I wish your tear ducts the best of luck ... here it is:
What can we learn from this incredible man and his ADORABLE father with great fashion sense? Well, where should I start? First, you should hug your foot today if you haven't yet. Secondly, there is nothing more powerful than the human spirit. But, more importantly, there is nothing more powerful than belief. Now, I am not talking about believing in Santa Claus ... although I am still mad at my parents for gorging on all of the macadamia nut cookies that we WASTED on an imaginary man who clearly did not need any more dessert ... I am talking about believing in each other. Derek was determined to finish the race although he had a TORN HAMSTRING - which, by the way, is comparable to the pain experienced by the dude played by James Franco in 127 Hours (shudder) - but, this determination was turned into success by his father's belief.
We cannot get through this life alone, that's for sure ... but we also cannot get through this life if we don't believe in each other. It is one thing to surround yourself with people who make you laugh, dance and sing, but it is another thing to make meaning with these people. Share yourself, support the people that you love, show them that you will be there to pick them up when life tears their hamstring and knocks them down.
So, today, my challenge for all of us is not about leadership in the traditional sense. My challenge is about meaningful interactions. Instead of walking by a friend and saying "How are you?" .. "Good, you?" and not even listening to the answer ... stop, ask a REAL question and listen, you will be surprised by the outcome. Instead of sitting on a friend's couch and talking about Chris' latest shenanigans in Bachelor Pad, talk about family, regrets, love and heartbreak.
Go out today and care about yourself, the people that you love, and the power of believing in it all. Because, after all of the material things, shiny medals and national anthems fade away ... all we have is each other.