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THE THOMAS LOOP: A gift unaccepted – May 10, 2003 – The day after

Magnitude…the word is powerful. It brings forth the message. It brings forth the accomplishments. It brings forth defeat. It – being, magnitude.

A few weeks before my graduation from Buffalo State College in Buffalo, New York – I was offered a gift. And…I turned it down.

From this day forth, this particular day is the most regrettable of all.  I was offered an opportunity to compete against the finest long distance athletes in the United States. Airfare…covered.  Race fee…covered. Hotel & food…covered. So that I could be afforded an opportunity to compete in the Olympic Trials. I turned it down, and when I did from the person in which I was on the phone with, I heard a sigh.

In life – that sigh…that, being at the other end of that request…that’s a response. That response is “it’s right here for you” – without having said a word. “What in the hell are you thinking?”

“This is IT, man!”

Whatever and whichever that you can think of – silence was the worst response.

So, on May 10, 2003, there I was, an athlete – about to be a college graduate, having completed my degree in Public Communication. What was my answer to counter the offer? A 23 mile run. I punished myself. All through The Town and The City of Niagara Falls, New York.

Those in Niagara Falls, New York – have failed a lot. They try to patch up, repair…for what? They try to make it “big,” only to have told that they can’t.

I chose not to. The reason? It was so that I could satisfy my mother & her husband. So that they could watch me walk across that stage. What did I get out of it? When I look back, and continue to do so…Nothing.

Do not reject The Gift.

– Thomas F. Proctor, IV

Originally Published on The Thomas Loop. Republished with permission.