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Is Webster's definition of success factual?

Many people would define success as accomplishing an ultimate goal that previously was set. Regardless of how significant or insignificant an accomplished goal may seem, everyone enjoys and thrives for that simple feeling of achievement — whether on the corporate business level, personal growth within a relationship, or sports. At times, others may judge an individual’s feelings of triumph as petty or irrelevant but who is to say what success is? My personal opinion is everyone has a different view of what is of importance in his/her life and therefore there is no true definition of the term so easily thrown around today.

It is no secret that the Peabody-Burns Lady Warriors basketball team didn’t exactly go down in history these past couple of seasons for setting any records or winning a lot of games but does this in fact label us as unsuccessful? I’m sure it is a luxury to read our stats from the paper, hear that we lost again sitting in one of the restaurants, or catching a glance at the score board when you arrive early for the boys’ game, and assume that we are completely unproductive.

However, let me ask those who would categorize us as “unsuccessful” — were you with us every step of the way? When our bodies were physically done but our hearts had no choice but to continue? Were you there when the sweat burned our eyes, floor-burns covered our knees and elbows, and tears rolled down our cheeks? Were you in fact there through all the injuries from sprained ankles, torn ligaments, and jammed fingers? Although the answer may seem obvious I still don’t believe you could fully comprehend unless you rode the bus with us before away games and walked off the court on Friday nights trying, again, to keep your head up after yet another loss. Is the determination, will power, and fight not enough to feel some measure of success?

I am the first to say I would love to reap the benefits of not only my but of every single teammate’s hard work. I cannot help but believe that perhaps on some level we were more successful than our opponents, even if just in the category of simply having the most heart. Regardless of the problems we faced or the reasons we lost, we continued to tear out our hearts and put them on the court day in and day out. Although I might not agree with the decisions, actions, and words of some individuals, just as they probably don’t agree with my plentiful mistakes, when it comes down to it there is nothing I wouldn’t do for any one of them and I have a feeling they would return the favor to me.

Several years from now when I reflect on my basketball playing days, I will look back on the lessons I have learned — not only about the game but also of life in general. Hard work does pay off and if this means discovering what you are made of, then so be it.

Thank you to those who continued to sit in the stands and support us. This is much appreciated and does not go unnoticed. I also would like to extend a special thank you to a good friend, Delbert Mellott, who happened to talk one of the players into going out this year when she was undecided. Let’s just say she is glad she did and learned some positive things, and negative things she needs to work on about herself through the experience.

Would you consider this process of personal growth and self-awareness success?

— Paige Barnes

Last modified March 11, 2009

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