High-performing athletes don’t waste time when they step into the arena. They’re not just there to work but to get the most out of what they put in. The “blood, sweat and tears” are investments. The return is strength, speed, better performance and sometimes wins. This motto, “Leave it on the Track” (court, field, arena) is all about heart – that intentional effort and grit that the athlete puts in. It’s not about raw talent; it’s excellence.
I first learned what it meant to “have heart” by watching Tiffany Ross (now Ross-Williams) run the 400-meter hurdle as a high-school student in Miami, FL. It was inspiring to watch Tiffany’s consistency, poised strength, and the several times she edges out the competition with her petite size. She was my only real local competition by our senior year. We didn’t typically compete against each other on the track. Out of five events each, we only faced each other in the triple-jump. But one dual meet, Coral Reef vs South Ridge, we went head-to-head in the open 400-meter dash. It was awesome. She beat me that day, though not by much. She had the inside lane and edged me outright at the last moment. That girl had HEART! We both left it ALL on the track that day…literally. We were throwing-up, we could barely walk…it was a great race. Tiffany went on to run for the University of South Carolina and eventually competed in the Olympics along with other great athletes I’ve had the honor of competing against. That’ll always be one of my favorite races.
Leaving it on the track is not easy to do in life beyond athletics. It goes hand-in-hand with showing up and checking your attitude. We live in an age filled with shortcuts, loopholes and doing the least possible for the most return. Leave it on the Track is the decision to bring value to whatever you do. It might be an assignment on the job, a meeting with a potential client or the actual work for an awarded customer. It may require you to dig deep physically, mentally and emotionally. Requirements such as a presentation may force you to conquer your fears or push beyond your limits. Don’t shy away from going the extra mile; bring excellence into every responsibility (even the mundane ones). By doing this, you gain the most out of the experience. Ultimately, it’s a worthy investment in you.
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Colossians 3:23, NLT). Our faith journey requires us to Leave it on the Track. We do so (1) to even have a faith journey and (2) for the sake of our faith journey. It takes our best effort to live life with God, to expose ourselves to the opportunity to learn and then to actually try and do what we’ve learned. Taking those intentional steps enhances our faith. Applying this approach to our work enhances our life.
Rest assure when you walk away from an assignment that you have done your best, you’ve given your all, and there’s nothing left including regret. Leave it on the Track!
- What would it look like to Leave it on the Track in your job or business?
- What thoughts, doubts, resistance or hesitation do you need to overcome to be able to Leave it on the Track?
- Describe a time you’ve witness someone Leave it on the Track in life beyond athletics.