At Glory Days

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I have a friend who was a great distance runner back in high school. He could shift and speed right by you, make you look like a slow boy. Saw him the other night at this roadside bar where he and friends were hanging out. We shook hands, sat down, had a few drinks, and ended up talking about…Breaking Bad. (Apologies to Mr. Springsteen, and everyone, really).

Earlier that day, my friend was inducted into his high school hall of fame. To have the after-party at a place called Glory Days may seem on the nose, but the site was chosen by another friend who’s often there celebrating the fact that it’s, say, Tuesday. Our table included several accomplished former athletes, and got me thinking about “extracurricular.”

Of course the word applies to sports, music, drama, and other activities that can be pursued in school, but are not part of the curriculum. But the prefix “extra” here means outside or beyond. It does not mean surplus. The folks at Glory Days that evening are successful people and good citizens. They’re good friends, and from what I can tell, good spouses and parents. They excel at the marathons of life. Back in school they, like myself, had some great teachers and classmates, but none more important than our coaches and teammates.

Ideally, students should make time for an activity they value intrinsically—not just to get a grade or a paycheck. If young people devote themselves to a sport, or a theatre production, or the marching band, or a rock and roll band, they will develop life-long abilities: to love their work, to work as a team, to work, period. One’s days of glory may be good (I wouldn’t know) but the reward for giving one’s all? Priceless.


One comment to At Glory Days

  • rick  says:

    Neil, great story. You have great glory.. 1. your still alive and breathing, a daily success 2. You have 2 healthy kids. 3. You don’t live in Siberia

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