Monday, January 31, 2011

I had a busy weekend, and it seemed to carry a message: Don't give up. Now, I'm not sure why that message came at this particular point in time. Yes, I'd just exhausted the obvious publishers for a particular book proposal, but I had already decided to buy the current Writer's Market and seek out the less obvious ones.

Still, the message was there.

On Friday afternoon, Roland and I went into Chicago to attend "Strictly Sail," the annual sailboat show. Since we weren't in the market for anything, we managed to leave with minimal financial damage. I bought a $6 book, and Roland bought a DVD documentary about Zac Sunderland's circumnavigation. We also heard Zac talk about his experiences as the youngest person to sail around the world alone (16 when he started and 17 when he finished just over a year later).

Zac's boat was named Intrepid, which means "fearless" or "courageous."* But it's also a good word for someone who doesn't give up when things don't go his way. In Zac's case, things like rough seas, multiple equipment failures, and a close call with pirates.

Then on Saturday, I saw another example of people who refused to give up.

That's the day my Alma Mater, Hope College, and its near neighbor, Calvin College, televised their men's basketball game. Fans from both schools gathered at satellite locations around the country to watch the game, and I attended the local rivalry party.

There seem to be more Calvin alumni than Hope alumni in this area, and I was feeling outnumbered. It got worse when the game began with Calvin running up eight unanswered points. And even worse at the half, with Calvin up by twelve or thirteen.

The Hope players could have given up. They must have been tempted to say, "That's too big a lead to overcome," or "We're too tired to give it our all." But they didn't. Hope won 76-70.

Zac Sunderland and the Hope basketball team showed what people can do when they don't give up.

If the message is for me, I get it.


* No, that isn't Intrepid in the picture. It's our boat, Freizeit. No copyright issues that way.

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