Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame
Harvard Athletic Achievements
Hall of Fame
Remembering Harvard Athletics
It was an extremely pleasant surprise to be elected to the Varsity Club Hall of Fame. I must admit that part of the surprise was in the realization of just how long it has been since I was at Harvard. In my minds eye I feel just a few weeks removed from the three o’clock walks across the Charles to the track. Then I realized that I am the same age now, as Coach Haggerty was when I first met him. I don’t feel as if I have the same level of experience or sage advice. The notification from the Varsity Club was also an opportunity for reflection. My competitive career is over. The fact that age wise I’m a month away from being a Master, and that weight wise I’m a Clydesdale should have been a clue. When you’re wondering if you’d be better served gaining a couple of pounds to become a svelte Rhino rather than remain a heavy Clydesdale you are grasping at competitive straws.
When I think back to my days at the track, it is the people I met that are my fondest memories. Harvard Track was at the core of my Harvard experience. My closest friends were made there, and my experiences there shaped the person I have become. The track was a wonderful place. It was a place of purpose and commitment, where individuals came together in a pursuit of excellence. When I left Harvard I realized that my passion for track was fuelled in large part by feelings of camaraderie and of contributing to the success of the team. Devoid of those things the passion to endure the pain of practice was missing.
I am very grateful to have been elected to the Varsity Club Hall of Fame and am grateful that I have been given this opportunity to say thank you to those people who had such a great influence on me. I want to thank my parents for encouraging me to apply to Harvard and being a constant source of love and support. I especially want to thank my father for always encouraging me to focus on doing my best rather than on the result. I must admit I used to wonder why the result itself wasn’t good enough. Coach Haggerty, The Head Dude, was a tremendous inspiration. He built upon my father’s sentiment by expanding my expectation of what I was capable. I can’t express the love, trust and confidence he inspired in me. Jim Johnson class of ‘83 was a tremendous role model for me. The grace with which he handled success and disappointment was a trait I wished to emulate. He was my big brother on the track. I want to thank Denis Cochran-Fikes for always having a ready ear and for showing me that you don’t have to subjugate your individuality to be successful. I want to thank George Wu for being the best roommate I could hope for. From the first question he asked me late on the first night of freshman year “Do you think the Universe is open or closed” I knew that this was a special person. I haven’t kept in touch with any of them to the extent that I should have. I haven’t told any of them how much they have meant to me and I haven’t expressed just how important Harvard and Harvard Athletics have been to me. My failures and shortcomings are my own, but I feel that my successes were largely forged by my experiences on the track and through my association with the wonderful people I met there.