Would You Be Willing To Risk It All To Be Great?
“We were different. It was tall poppy syndrome. New Zealand has that pretty bad. People sense you’re different. It’s funny, if we had lived in America, I think we would have been popular, but in New Zealand, if you don’t play rugby, you’re picked on. It happened in high school more because we stopped participating. Kids yeah, but teachers too were unfair to us. They called my mother claiming we were anorexic. It was just from the high mileage; it was ridiculous. My mother was furious. When we started winning national titles, teachers started treating us with respect, but it was too little too late. I hated high school. We sat for our finals in October 2006, and the next day were on a plane to Africa. …”
“[One of the hardest points was when] we got very sick drinking from a water hole that wasn’t clean. Maybe typhoid. It scared us—we went to bed on Friday and woke up Sunday night. It was the first time it [possibility of death] was real. Me and Zane forced ourselves to have a glass of water and half a banana each, and we had a talk – If one of us doesn’t wake up, don’t worry. It’s okay. You continue on and achieve what we came to do. Let mom and dad know that we went out happy.”
– Jake Robertson talking in an incredible Q&A with Sarah Barker on Deadspin entitled, “A Decade In Kenya Turned Two Teens From New Zealand Into World-Class Runners.” In 2007, Jake and his twin Zane willingly gave up everything they knew including the safety of a Western life to try to be great at running and a decade later, they have succeeded. This article is so good we are going to use another quote from it as QOD tomorrow.
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