Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 28, 2014

Talk with D-Rok

By Derek Helling, Sports Editor | Mar 20, 2014
Photo by: Journal file photo Derek Helling

One of my favorite television shows, probably the only sitcom I have ever been able to tolerate, is Seinfeld. It’s the quintessential show about nothing. It was a pioneer in the trend of taking everyday situations and making fun of them.
One of the recurring storylines in the show was the low-intensity tension between the main character, Jerry Seinfeld and a frequently featured character simply known as Newman. The show has inspired me to pen a “pep talk” of sorts for the area athletes and coaches for the upcoming spring season.
Newman was the thorn in Jerry’s side, the constant obstacle to his progress, the Lex Luthor to his Superman. I must state, however, that Newman was more of a nuisance than a viable threat to Seinfeld’s existence, like Luthor was to Superman. That’s an important point of clarity.
In sporting endeavors, people involved often encounter “Newmans.” A Newman can come in the form of an individual or team that seems to have your number. It can also come in the form of a goal that seems just beyond your reach. It can be something as beyond your control as the weather or a physical limitation.
There is an important lesson that you can learn from Seinfeld about facing our Newmans in sport, as well as almost any other arena of life. We can conduct our business and go for our goals regardless of their existence.
Just as Jerry continued to enjoy his growing success as a comedian in the show despite the presence of Newman’s constant annoying interference, you should make your choices not out of fear of, or even in defiance of, your obstacles. To operate under the influence of either defiance or fear is to let those obstacles dictate your actions.
I’m not suggesting denial of your reality. There are physical limitations that are very realistic. I’m advocating instead for acknowledgment of the existence of those limitations and going for the utmost of your potential within them.
What you may discover along the way is that the barriers you thought you had were more of a comedic nuisance, an obese mailman with few friends and no real purpose other than to annoy you. Your potential is probably more than you have yet realized.
Set an attainable, measurable goal for yourself. Work toward it every day until you have accomplished it. At that point, set a new goal and repeat the process.
The best part is that you aren’t going about achievement in sports alone. You have a community of supporters who are excited to see what you can do. As long as you’re trying, we’re cheering.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Mar 21, 2014 20:02
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