Overcoming Adversity

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I learned a lot from Bob Greene’s recent story in The Wall Street Journal entitled “The Nicklaus Way of Golf — and Life.”

I knew Jack Nicklaus was a class guy, but I liked the reminders.

“Jack Nicklaus came of sports-glory age in the era of Muhammad Ali and Joe Namath, but in those ‘I am the greatest’ years he never felt the need to proclaim such a thing. Guarantee victories? It wouldn’t have occurred to him. He would have found such showboating to be personally embarrassing.”

“His theory of golf—and of life—was pretty elementary. Do your best, and everything else will take care of itself. If you’re good enough, people will say it for you. Hit one shot, keep your head down and then hit the next. If you make a poor shot, it’s no one’s fault but your own; don’t scream and don’t blame the course or the gallery. You’re going to end up in the rough on certain days of your life. It’s your job alone to find your way out.”

“For profile writers over the years wanting to compose colorful stories about him, tales of his bitter and nasty feuds with other golfers, of his bombast and explosions and piques, the anecdotes just weren’t there. Which may be the most telling anecdote about him of all.”

What I had forgotten or – more likely – never knew was that he had polio as a child and might even have given it to his sister.

Do you have an experience overcoming adversity in your sports life? Tell us.

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