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sporting difference

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What is the sporting difference?

Looking forward to getting better tomorrow, working on your game, your life, and doing whatever it takes, whether doing what you think is right or doing what you’re told.

Coach tells you what’s what, what to do, when to do it, and where.

After that it’s all you.

Can you do it?

The Sporting Difference says, “Yes, you can.”

It starts early, too early to remember.

Do you know how to ride a bike? If you’ve ever taught someone how to ride a bike, you know how it goes.

At some point you either wonder how they caught on so fast, or why they can’t get it to stay on two wheels.

Every time you let go after the training wheels come off you say, “Yes, you can.”

You might not say those exact words, but the hope is there.

If you’ve ever been around kids, maybe your own, you help them grow.

I remember when my kids first sat up on their own and I’d roll a ball to them.

My hope was they’d roll it back.

When it finally happened, the message was quite clear.

They embraced the sporting difference.

And still do twenty five years later.

You meet people of all ages who either perk up, or go through the motions.

It’s either, “I’m glad to meet you.”

Or, a limp handshake and a few mumbles that sound like, “How’re ya.”

The sporting difference leaks into every aspect of life.

Take the gym environment, for example.

A trainer explained a exercise to a man who disagreed with her.

“He can’t be trained,” I said.

“Some people can’t be trained,” she said.

“He’s one of them.”

She looked me in the eye and said, “He’s not the only one.”

I may have a trainer in my future?

Since I ripped him a little, he returned the favor by explaining the difference between Trump and Clinton by loud talking about new Benghazi evidence.

The loud talk attracted a couple of guys nearby.

In the middle of his escalating solo I said, “WHAT?”

He quieted down.

“Every service guy knows leadership, what it does, and what it looks like,” I said to the small group, then asked the one man if he was ex-service, active duty, reserve, or anything?

His response was classic with, “My grandfather was in WWII.”

I thanked him for his service with, “If he was alive, he’d know who to vote for next month.”

Sometimes you need to explain things to non-service personnel impressed by the bombastic acts on political campaigns.

“Anytime you sign up for government service, you’re taking a chance. It’s a bigger chance when you sign with the Armed Forces.

“The lowest of the low in those outfits are called privates. I was a private, but a first class private, or Pfc.

“Lots of low ranking canon fodder get caught in bad decisions and pay with their lives in a hot war.

“No says you’re expendable, but think about it, who’s more valuable, a West Point grad Captain, or GED private?

“We are the stuff that hits the fan, the soldiers who stand up to get shot down, not the REMFs.”

“In normal middle aged life we’re all a bunch of REMFs, but some of us have that DD214 as proof of who we used to be. That’s enough to shed light on leadership.

“At the end of the day you ask, ‘who do you want to die for?'”

None of the guys listening to an over sixty bag of wind were prior service. None of the five ever followed orders given by someone they didn’t respect, like a jack assed Spec 4 with a Napoleon complex.

The President during my Army days was Gerald Ford. He had my respect.

He was someone you’d share a foxhole with.

Of the last two standing in the presidential election, one stays on topic, the other flings it and wings it.

Which one do you want the lowest of the low privates on active duty to follow, because they’ll be looking up to one or the other with keen interest when they learn their chain of command.

It’s called duty, and they do it.

Or you can call it the sporting difference where every new day is a chance to get better at what you do and who you are.

That’s your duty. Vote accordingly.

About David Gillaspie
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