Learning from John Bingham + Katharine Graham's 'Personal History'
Once again T, wow! Thank you so much for sharing those stories. I am near tears from the encouragement. My story is not as dramatic but I needed those words.
I actually have been thinking along these lines today. I have been reading a book for work called “Navigating Change” by W. Gary Gore. It has helped me to see I have been relying on excuses for some obstacles in life.
Much like the documentary I watched about the Barkley Marathons, I am extremely encouraged to do more than I have thought I could. And I have renewed excitement for my 1/2 coming up on the 19th
My gratitude for your ability to craft words and to present them in a way to encourage us all is something I cannot even put in words. I literally thank G-d for you and all you do. Thank you so, so much. If I was on the committee, I would vote for you for the Pulitzer Prize.
Thanks Terrell for sharing such disparate stories with common themes. You do it so well.
I think the “decisive moment” for many of us is more like a tipping “point” that has been resisting the inevitable until resistance is no longer possible. Katherine Graham may never have contemplated the “inevitable” but her family tree prepared her proverbial “backbone” for the decisive moment when her friend reminded her that she “had the right stuff”. The Penguin reached a point in his life where he was “disgusted” with himself and sometimes “desperate” people do desperate things. Taking responsibility for his body was an act of desperation but all he had left. He could no longer bear sitting on the sidelines. I humbly submit, Graham and the Penguin just got plain tired of living life “vicariously”. They had reached their tipping points. Both could have still resisted but I think neither would have been able to look themselves in the mirror again. I think there comes a point in all our lives where you either do or don’t. There no longer is “try” when you no longer can resist the call of your personal destiny.
This article really resonated for me. Thank you Terrill (catching up on my reading after a busy month)
I’ll have to read John Bingham! I took up running in lockdown during the pandemic at 34 and thought I’d missed the best years to do it. Good to know I was wrong
The moment you say "can't" you limit yourself. Unfortunately, that is not a word that is in my vocabulary. Anything you put your mind to doing can be done. It's simple. . . focus.
Quote that comes to mind. . . You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. -Dr. Seuss
Just normal weather today--Springing along, slow but sure. :)
I was fortunate enough to be inspired by an incredible high school history teacher more than 50 years ago. She introduced me to the concept of the “renaissance man” - the DaVincis and Michaelangelos of that era, broad spectrum men adept in science, arts, politics, philosophy, military art, physical excellence, etc. I aspired to grow into one of those guys and spent the next several decades working toward it. I came up with my criteria about midway through the process and decided to define myself as 1. Citizen - an active participant in making my community better, 2. Soldier - 30+ years US Army as an airborne infantry officer, 3. Scholar - assistant professor of English and philosophy at the US Military Academy West Point and lifetime student of all things, 4. Explorer - 76 countries under my belt, 5. Athlete - lifetime runner, and 6. Craftsman working in wood and glass. I found that working on the body alone was insufficient without also developing the mind, the spirit, and the imagination. I’m still thankful for the start on this path that Ms Helman gave me half a century ago.
Terrell--this is another WOWZA post. 1) I read Graham's book (remarkable) when I was looking for female role models who were terrified, but did it anyway. I loved that book. Thank you for giving her story center stage. 2) These lines you wrote are IT: "They could have turned away from their moment of transformation, or not seen it for what it was: a chance to live a new life, or at least to live life in a new way. We might never have known their names. But they found whatever it was they needed to find in themselves, and the rest is history..." I love what Bingham himself writes--and what I try to tell my sedentary 60-something friends (unsuccessfully as I probably come across as pushy and annoying) "Being an athlete is having a body that is a tool of exploration instead of a place of imprisonment." And what I know is that "being an athlete" is relative. Being an athlete may be running 3 miles, not 50. Or walking instead of running--or chair yoga. Whatever you can do to have your body work with you versus against you, is all that matters. Thanks again...And lordy, where the heck do you find the time to do all this fabulous writing while keeping a day job and being a parent??
Great post! I was never a runner - never an athlete. I married a collegiate runner and for the first 10 years of our marriage felt like I never measured up. Finally, one day at the suggestion of a friend, I joined a training group for a half marathon. It completely changed my life. Now 20 years and 25 half marathons later. I can confidently say I’m an athlete. It’s a wonderful feeling.