When you hold up your hand, pull your pinky away from your other fingers. Study that space. Those fingers grouped together represent people who have no idea how be victorious, people who are afraid to try, and people who only hope to win. The smallest finger represents a champion and the space in between the ring finger and the pinky makes all the difference. Work in that space and live the life of a champion – be set apart.
Joey’s high school baseball coach, Jerry Long, used to tell his teams this and Joey has shared it with Taylor and Wade countless times.
The first time occurred when Taylor was about 5. We were living in Sallisaw and each week I would drive Taylor to Ft. Smith for gymnastics. The class had a competition at the end called a spider walk; you stand on your hands with your feet against the wall and see if you can outlast your teammates. Taylor won the spider walk week after week. Her daddy would ask her each night we returned if she had won and each week she would respond affirmatively. High fives and big hugs would abound.
One week, she didn’t answer yes. Instead, she said, “No, I let someone else win.” Everything stopped. For the next thirty minutes Taylor’s daddy talked to her, this five year old baby girl, about the difference between losing, getting beat, winning, and being a champion. I kept walking back and forth into the living room trying to hold up 5 inconspicuous fingers, one for each year of this small child, trying to catch his attention -but to no avail. She internalized every word her daddy said and never “let someone win” again. She demanded the best of herself, the best of you, and she was never good at losing.
Lots of messages were shared today sending love and prayers.. I am thankful for each of you who listen to that still, small voice inside you. When you respond, I am reminded that we are not alone. Thank you for remembering her.
Today was not a good day, but Taylor will always be a good thing.
Please pray for Josie and Price tonight. They are two of the strongest young people I know.