Steve Prefontaine

International Track Star - Running Legend

2010 Joshua Frazier

An Essay by Joshua Frazier

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift."
-Steve Prefontaine

When people put a half-hearted effort into their dreams, they put a half-hearted effort into all that they do, and soon find they have half a heart. And a person who's got half a heart gets half of the job done, and gets half of the satisfaction, and gets half of the happiness. Frustration sets in when their dreams are not just be handed to them.

Discouragement runs its course when they realize their goals and dreams only come on the conditions of hard work, focus, and dedication. Then the pursuit of their dream ceases as well as any of their talents or the gift.

While serving a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Connecticut Hartford Mission, I learned three principles from three men that support Steve Prefontaine's claim:

 

    1. Work. Bishop Lewis, a fire chief, fought fires and worked nights, but every Sunday morning at 7:30am would go straight to the church after work to get the building ready for 9:00am services--all without compensation. He taught me to work hard and accomplish everything no matter what the circumstances.

 

  1. Exactness. My mission president, H. Gary Pehrson, taught me to the obey rules with exactness. He only accepted my best efforts and reproved me sharply for mediocrity. He taught me that l could not be casual or lukewarm about anything I do and how I do it.
  2. Smile."Heaven ain't ready for me and hell is afraid I'll takeover!" Bob Larkin, a man battling with pancreatic cancer for more than a year told me. Bob is always smiling, laughing and joking with people. He is the happiest man I've ever met! He taught me to smile even if death was glaring right back at me.



I was raised, trained, and taught to give only my best. And now that I have learned these three principles as taught to me by Steve Prefontaine, Bishop Lewis, President Pehrson, and Bob Larkin I will be returning to run working harder, more exact, more focused, and more dedicated than before, with a huge grin on my face. I have not sacrificed my gift of desire, I have only added to it.