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Lessons from Rugby


I learned the power of passion and enthusiasm at an early age. As a boy, my passion was Rugby League in Armidale NSW Australia. From the age of 5 to 18, we all played in rain, hail, or snow. Between the ages of 12 and 15, our team was undefeated locally. We were riding high. The last game of the year came around at a junior level, under 15s. We had easily defeated our opponents, Duval High School, two weeks earlier. This was going to be yet another pennant on the wall. However, the team we played that day was not the Duval we knew. Duval ran onto the field like men possessed, led by their captain Theo Anast (who later played 1st grade in Sydney and for France). They ran and tackled like seasoned pros and eventually won the match. We had no answer for their determination, passion, and confidence. I would later learn that there was a dramatic backstory; they were sick and tired of being beaten up by the nearby school.  

Theo and his team taught me an invaluable lesson in life—that passion can defeat skill and talent. Enthusiasm, and having the courage to believe that the impossible is possible, will win the day.  

What are our dreams, passion, and dramas going to be? I left the conference dwelling on the haunting image that Schmincke described of a mountain climber who was found dead halfway down the mountain with a camera in his pocket containing a triumphant picture of himself and his friends at the top of the summit. The goal was achieved. However, the climber’s edge, passion, and focus had now shifted, and death was his reward. What is your compelling saga? 

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