Keeping My Stones to Myself

This is the first time I have commented publicly on any sort of situation that is going on that is negative in the Spartan world. I often just do my best to stay out of situations that don’t involve me, and situations that do involve me, I attempt to stay out of as well.

There has been so much negativity surrounding the professional and elite athletes that I think people tend to forget that we are all simply human. I’m not saying that ever yelling at someone is okay. I’m not saying that calling someone out on social media is okay. What I will say is that people are very quick to point fingers, throw rocks, and judge others for the very same things that we see others doing every day, without ever saying a word.

Haven’t nearly all of us seen someone upset at that Walmart person for taking a receipt to check unbagged items when that person is simply doing his or her job?

Haven’t we all done this ourselves, or at least seen, someone screaming the television or yelling at a television at a game, college or professional? I know I myself have throw my hands in the air, yell at televisions, accuse referees and players of cheating.

I’ve stomped away in anger, when I am not even someone raises my voice in anger under other circumstances.

Those athletes are simply people on television playing sports that we enjoy watching. We have, absolutely, seen collegiate and professional athletes get upset on television. Somehow though, we forget, that they are being human.

“To err is human…” ~Alexander Pope

Am I saying that anyone who yells at the referees or professionals or umpires or anyone else is right, or wrong?

No, absolutely not. That is not for me to judge, but I will say, that someone in a professional capacity of a sport should never comment or ever publicly blast someone else who also represents the same company that he or she represents. This would be like someone who works for your favorite college team going on social media and completely blasting someone on the team. I can guarantee you, as a former collegiate athlete, that the person who did that would be immediately fired.

No one is entitled to put out there what someone does as a mistake. On the other side of it, as an elite athlete in college myself, I am so glad that no one had a camera or that the media decided to not capture regrettable moments of mine that I am not so proud of myself. I remember yelling at officials and reacting to a crowd because they were simply being fans. Does that make the fans correct for calling me horrible names? Did that make me correct for calling them names back? No, it did not.

However, there is something about watching a sport that is loved by everyone watching and participating that sometimes brings out the worst of us. Spartan is no different. Spartan is the sport that has saved the lives of so many, and is a sport that has saved the way people feel about themselves. It’s a sport that has saved marriages, and has led to an inestimable number of friendships. I used the word millions because I can’t imagine someone going to a race and not meeting at least a dozen people. So, why do we continue to blast each other?

If you are someone who is doing the blasting or commenting on on social media right now, I say that you should comment anytime someone is yelling or getting upset at a televised game.

If you ever go to a little league baseball or football game, be sure to step in front of that raging parent who is doing nothing but ruining the moment for the little boy or girl who calls him or her “Mommy” or “Daddy”. You do that, then put it on social media.

Next time someone in front of you is upset at that man or woman who is checking the receipt at Walmart for unbagged goods as you or the person in front you is leaving Walmart, you be sure you make a comment.

No matter what the situation, emotions are inherently human. In the heat of the moment, I will admit myself before I point the finger anyone else, that I can be an absolute brat. I can make myself, unintentionally, look like I feel entitled or special. Any of us can do that in the heat of the moment. What makes the come back, is the way we live out each day.

I’m not that way. I don’t live my life as that person. It was in a tense situation, and I simply just lost my head a little bit, or heck, even a lot.

Are Spartan officials now expecting and demanding perfection, lest the athlete end up on social media? I don’t think that’s the case. I think one or a few are simply stepping outside of their duties.

Do I think that the rules have ever been bent, and unfairly so? Oh yes, I sure have, but we all know that “fair” is a place where you buy cotton candy and get on shaky Ferris Wheels.

If you can honestly say that you’ve never seen someone upset at televised game or at a live game, and not said anything, then you’re as guilty as someone who is right now doing the same.

If you have watched or seen yelling at a televised or live event, or gotten upset at a store in line, but you didn’t put on social media, for the whole world to see, then you are wrong. You have no place in this and you need to do burpees.

When you are part of a corporation, or you are part of a business, or a team, or anything like that, you are essentially part of a family. People and families do things wrong. People and corporations, businesses, or anytime humans interact, there is going to be some sort of situation that everyone doesn’t agree with. This is how life happens.

So, think of this as you read the rest of this: Can you really point a finger right now? Can you really throw a stone without throwing one at yourself? I’m not saying the person who works for Spartan is right or wrong. I’m not saying the person who yelled at anyone is right or wrong. That’s really such a gray area, because we are all guilty of it in some way.

This sport is loved by so many because of the support it lends to everyone involved, not just those who stand up as a world champion, even though that most certainly all sorts of cheers. (Shout out to someone I have followed since before my Spartan days!)

Let us continue to just support each other, and remember, if you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.


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