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Mark’s Musings – August 17, 2016

| August 23, 2016
Mark Fortune

Mark Fortune

This year’s summer Olympics have certainly been a pleasure to watch. Swimming, gymnastics, basketball, volleyball and other sports have been favorable to the Americans. The devotion that these athletes put forth to garner a few moments of fame is astounding. And it is hard to fathom what an athlete thinks about that finishes second, third or does not even place. But you were at the Olympics! And that in and of itself is what being a world class champion is all about.

Like experiences in life that may humble us or push us into the limelight, experience can never be taken away. The challenges that we face may push us beyond what we think is our physical and at times, mental limit. Rising above those obstacles is what separates one athlete and even one person from another.

Many of the human interest stories and experiences that come out of the Olympics are indeed special. The athlete that overcomes childhood poverty, physical challenges or just life itself ring true to our being a member of the human race. Whether American or from another nation, whether a gymnast, runner or swimmer, many of the athletes competing have overcome tremendous adversity and odds to be an Olympian.

Many of you have no doubt watched Michael Phelps become undoubtedly the best swimmer of all time. Or Usain Bolt becomes the first man to win the gold medal in the 200 meter race not once, not twice, but in three Olympics. That’s twelve years of staying in shape, performing at a world class level all the time, not just once in a while–but consistently. It is remarkable when you step back and think about it.

Several of the athletes have proclaimed thanks to God, many have stayed humble and are unashamedly crying tears of joy as the American anthem is played at the medal ceremony. Some are not as humble, have caused drama and display a somewhat poor sense of sportsmanship. There is no excuse for that–especially at the Olympics.

We probably all need a little bit more of the humbleness and timidity of Mr. Rogers with a dose of the big, bad wolf thrown in for good measure. The former and the latter both come to mind following a recent visit to IdleWild in Pennsylvania. This is the former Storybook Forest that many of you have probably visited with the kiddies. Yes, the big, bad wolf is still there. A bit scary I might add with those teeth.

And for you Steelers fans, (yes, I can type the word without my fingers turning black and falling off) you may know that the highway to IdleWild-at least the way we went-meanders through the hills and valleys of southeastern PA with a little town toward the end that just happens to be the pre-season practice area for the Steelers. Latrobe, PA. Although I did not remove the Browns stickers before passing through there was no mischief.

One Browns rookie to keep an eye on is none other than former Texas A&M Aggie Mike Matthews, the nephew of the great Clay Matthews. I would keep an eye on number 60 who is listed on the depth chart in the center position. He has a proud name to live up to and has not shied away from that expectation.

Category: Mark's Musings, Opinion

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