May 29, 2024

THE LIST: 'What matters is the size of the fight in the dog'


I’ve been reading the popular book “Boundaries” lately, which psychologists Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend wrote to help people re-gain control of their life using the principles contained in the book. It has been a really good read. It’s one of those that I’ve picked up numerous times, but I think I’ll actually finish it this time.

In the chapter about “Boundaries and Yourself” I was caught by a startling notion I hadn’t given much thought to lately. The authors talked about how one of the symptoms people without the use of boundaries experience in their life is that they don’t finish things well.

What caught me off guard, actually is that that our society often places a lot of focus on starting well. Don’t get me wrong, our world needs self-starters, but I also think it needs self-finishers. I think that’s one thing I would impress upon seniors who are graduating this weekend: use the tools you’ve been given thus far to find ways to finish things well. It will get you far in life. It’s something I am constantly working on in my own life.

This year’s state track qualifiers have put on quite a show throughout their journey this season. That’s not to mention our area golfers and soccer players, too. They have much to be proud of as they work to finish well.

One story I heard this week is probably a microcosm of many other stories, but it bears mentioning. Orient-Macksburg sophomore Emma Boswell made it to state this year in the high jump. Her cousin Tyson Ross made it twice in his high school career in the same event. He helped her a lot as she set her mind to finishing well, which she has done.

I had Orient-Macksburg English teacher Kendra Brietsprecher, who is a former newspaper owner, get some comments from Boswell for me ahead of the state meet. Keep in mind, this is a student-athlete who comes from one of the smallest public schools in the state. They don’t have a track, but they do have a high jump pit.

Boswell started jumping around prom time last year because an upcoming meet the Bulldogs were going to didn’t have a lot of girls in it. They thought they could get some team points out of her.

“The last three years I had watched Tyson high jump and he has helped me out a lot with the basics. I’m proud to follow in Tyson’s footsteps. I’m thankful to have a cousin like him that helps me train and pushes me to be my best,” Boswell said. “I have always wanted to have a chance to go to state and represent Orient-Macksburg. Watching Tyson last year made me realize how much I wanted that dream to come true.”

I don’t feel it’s fair to call Boswell an underdog because she’s been successful in a lot of the things she’s done. She was a leader among softball hitters in the state when she stepped into high school and was ranked nationally in rebounding last season in basketball. Her success shouldn’t be a surprise to us. That being said, she still has a neat story and a lot to be proud of.

All of our state qualifiers across the area have a lot to be proud of. There are many more stories out there like Boswell’s, I’m sure. I remember covering an Audubon student athlete once who broke a school record in long jump at the same meet his brother had broken it at several years before, and his brother was the one helping him achieve it.

Trent Warner had a whale of a throw in shot put at last Thursday’s state-qualifying meet, breaking the Nodaway Valley school record that stood since 2006, the year I graduated high school. That deserves mention, too.

Boswell’s story is just one of the many instances where it goes to show that it doesn’t matter where you’re from. It sounds cliche, but it doesn’t matter the size of the dog in the fight, what matters is the size of fight in the dog. Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun.

Great job to all our spring athletes and our seniors who are moving on to new heights this week. Your communities are proud of you!

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.