Now or Never: Why I’m Going Pro

             For myself, the past four years have been highlighted, bolded and double underlined by two things: being on the track team and getting into law school. Now, though, real life looms and the “right way” is not so clearly defined.

    I was accepted to law school, but I’m not going. I’m staying right here, as many of our Triton athletes have, in order to try to get to that elusive next level. This has been the scariest decision of my life. The easy way, going to law school, ensures me a good salary, a safe retirement and all the trappings of being a lawyer. Being a professional javelin thrower, although sounding glamorous, is not.

    I will not be making any money unless I am one of the top five in the world, and even then I would be making less than the lowest paid fourth-stringer in the NFL. You probably could also name some fourth string lineman, but not even the very best American javelin thrower.

    Why would I do this then? I do it because there are only so many moments in life, and each one should be used to its fullest.

    I will only be 22 once. I will only be here, with the physical gifts I have, for a very short amount of time. I can either be safe, or go out and do what others tell me I can’t.

    Theodore Roosevelt, in his “Man in the Arena” speech, gives credit to the man who goes out and strives for greatness, who succeeds at the highest level in the best case, or, in the worst case, fails in a great cause knowing that he, “at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    You can live life safely, but how fulfilling is a life lived pristinely yet sterile behind a desk or a set of diplomas. Living life this way just seems to be a waste of the few moments we all come across where we can be more than we imagined, more than we can allow ourselves to hope for.

    My dad tried out for the Warriors and made it to the last round of cuts, but was cut in favor of a player who was not as good at the time, but who the coaches thought had more potential. He did not make an NBA team, but played post-collegiate ball in the Pro-Am league and led his team to two National Titles. My dad laid it all out on the line, and I respect him more than I can say on this page for doing that.

    I have found my moment in the javelin, and even if I fail, I will fail knowing that I gave it everything I had and then some. And when it’s all over, I will be a better person for it because I will be able to look back and know that I spent my life fully pursuing greatness.

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