Just some thoughts:
Every time he was supposed to go to work… he did.
Iron man is an athletic term we often hear. It pertains to longevity and has it roots from a major league baseball pitcher Joe McGinnity who was known for pitching back to back doubleheaders and leading his league in innings pitched four times in five seasons. Thus gave birth the term “Iron Man.”
Iron Man is a term we associated with athletics and rightful so. Cal Ripken the Baltimore Orioles baseball player broke the record set by Lou Gehrig for the most consecutive baseball games played, Ripkin played in 2,632 games. Ripken also holds the record for the most innings played in baseball at 8,264. Folks that is something like sixteen seasons of showing up everyday, not missing what you were hired, paid to do.
In the world of auto racing, NASCAR Jeff Gordon holds the record for the most races started at 797. Brett Favre holds the record for the most starts as quarterback, 297. Jeff Feagles played in 352 consecutive NFL football games, he was a punter. Joe Thomas hold the NFL record for the most snaps at 10 seasons, 363 games . A.C. Green holds the record for the most games played in the NBA at 1,192. That is close to fourteen and half season of showing up trying to put a ball into a small cylinder. Doug Javis holds the NHL league for the most games played at 964 and Glenn Hall hold the NHL record for most starts at the goaltender position.
All these people have one thing in common. They all showed up.
Anytime I think about work and people showing up I am reminded of the generation that came before me. Seems like most everyone that I knew in the community where I grew up (Pimento) in the 1950s’ were good at “showing up.” Wayne Brown the bus driver, he always showed up, Sam Liston, Al VanDyck at the post office, Mrs.Riddle my English teacher, Mr. Turner the school principle and the list could go on and go. There was even an old collie dog that at our schools awards day was given a special citation for what the administration called “perfect attendance.”
Adding to that list would be my dad. I don’t ever recall a morning when he said to my mom, “Oh by the way you know what, I don’t think I’ll go to work today.” My dad, as many others from where I came from, were what folks called “blue collar” workers. They made their living with their bodies and hands. They worked in the boiling heat and in the blistering cold. They didn’t have built up sick days. I can remember when one of the best things that could be said of another was, “They are a good worker.” Old Joe may have had some faults, talks too much, drinks a bit more than he should but if it could be said of him, “He’s a good worker” they were generally respected in their community.
Today at my coffee place I step up to the counter to get my regular serving. I said to the young lady, “I see where you had to open up this morning, what time did you have to be here?” She told me 4:30 a.m. “What? Well what time did you have to get up this morning to be here?” She told me she left her house at 3:45 a.m. Most every morning when I come in I see her and this is not some “high payin'” CEO type job. It’s bakin and buttering’ bagels and pouring coffee.
In my past I met a lot of “Iron Men” and women. Today just paid attention to the ones who constantly “show up.” One of the best pieces of advice a young person can be given is two words, “Show up.”
I remember my old Grandma McCammon’s often said words to me: ” If you’ll keep your mouth shut, your thoughts to yourself and show up in most cases you will do just fine.”
January 28, 2018
Posted January 6, 2018