The Race

“The real purpose of running isn’t to win the race, it’s to
test the human heart”- Bill Bowerman
 If there
is one thing that you know about me, it’s that I do not like to lose.
Especially on a summer night run and my competitor is my brother, Tim. A relationship
with a brother is filled with many emotions, but competition is never more
evident than with one particular night.  I knew that my 11 year old body was ready to
finally beat my 18 year old brother. My plan was to hang with him at the
beginning. Then make my move at the end.
We ran for what
seemed three-quarters of a mile. I could see the end of the road, meaning our
destination was in sight. I took off! It was my turn to show my speed. My
brother strayed behind. He didn’t have the strength to keep up with me, and my
victory was eminent. However, my heart began to beat faster. My lungs started
to struggle for oxygen, but I continued to accelerate. Then, I looked up. The
target seemed no closer. I began to walk. I had built a sizable lead on Tim, so
I decided a break wouldn’t affect my goal. As he caught back up, my lungs,
legs, and determination did not. I finished strong, but two or three minutes
after the victor.
State Conference for Chapter Leaders is now completed. After
three days, after fifteen workshops, and after over 300 students absorbed
knowledge about Vision, Kansas FFA’s Vision became truly “possible”. Although,
one point that must be emphasized is the goal we have for ourselves, for our
chapters, or for any aspect of our lives cannot be achieved in a sprint. Just
like my unsuccessful duel, even though I could see where I wanted to be, I
lacked the knowledge on how to venture successfully. The unforeseen limits
immobilized my efforts. When these limits find their way into our missions, we
must not allow them to keep us down. We must follow the same advice my track
coach always gave me, “Breath through your nose, and keep your legs moving.”
These troubles we find in our journey cannot be walls in our way, but hurdles
that we leap over. 
At the end of the night, I returned home. Though defeated, I
lived to see another race. As we race towards our goals, we must know the “return
point”: The place we go after downfall. Throughout this next year there will be
defeat, but we cannot wander aimlessly on the side of the road following the
tribulation (that would result in an encounter with a Mountain Lion). Whether
that “return point” is our faith, our family, or our FFA chapter, we must
identify it before we embark on our journeys.
No matter how big our goal is for ourselves, there are always steps that have to be taken to reach that goal. With running, it’s one foot in front of the other (and many more chemical reactions that take place within my legs, but let’s not get into details). In our goal towards having a successful career, our steps could be to complete high school, attend college, and gain work experience. With our FFA Chapters, it could be developing that Program of Activities, carrying out those events throughout the year, or creating a Vision and mission statement. Whatever steps we may be executing, do it with our best ability. Because one false step in a race, we will find ourselves face first in the ground and at the back of the pack. 
Finally,  this is the
second time Kansas FFA has heard or read of my running conquests (I promise my
running stories are depleted). I would like to take the opportunity to
introduce what my race of life consists of:
1) I live in Cuba… No, not the country. Cuba, Kansas
Cuba is a primarily Czech community. Hada-Chek. Get it? 
2) In Cuba, I have lived 18 years with a fantastic and loving family.
3) With my family I had the opportunity to travel to Ireland this last year.
Just a small taste of agricultural life in Ireland.
What we woke up to every morning.

4)  I was heavily involved in sports, forensics, and band throughout my high school, but…..

5) FFA IS LIFE!
This next year will be a race. A very quick race. Almost two months have passed since the state officers were elected. Every moment is just as thrilling as the last. I look forward to the opportunity of serving as Kansas FFA Secretary. Although, the members are what make this organization great. I have a very powerful Vision for Kansas FFA. In order to arrive at our destination, we must take it one member, one chapter, and one day at a time.
Kansas FFA, what steps will you take to reach your goal?