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Old 01-25-2010
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Danny Burk Danny Burk is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Peoria, IL
Posts: 1,785

Perspective can be defined as a mental view - or, how you look at things, really. And every situation we are put in throughout our daily lives can be good or bad, depending on how you look at it and how you let it affect you. Two people can be thrown into the same exact situation and walk away from it feeling completely different from one another because of the way they look at that situation. Recently situations have come about in my life that have certainly changed the way I look at things and perhaps given me better perspective.

To start with, this past weekend our high school team (Peoria Notre Dame) won the 3rd conference title in the history of our school. We won it my Senior year and Duke's Senior year. For us, this was quite an accomplishment. Sure, our conference is not one of the best in the state and we don't produce countless state qualifiers year after year, but at our level and for our area, this was a big thing. You have to start somewhere when you are trying to build, and this was the first goal we set forth for our kids and our program. Certainly there are bigger things out there that a team can accomplish, and we plan to continue to work towards those things. But, we had to start at the basics - winning seasons, winning the conference - in order to move further in the development of our kids. It was a goal we gave them about a year ago and a goal we continued to push towards throughout the off season and during the season. Therefore, our kids reached their goal as a team, and did it the right way - by working hard, putting in the time, and continuing to try to improve on a daily basis. So when you look at it from the perspective of a top program in this state, it probably is not much of an accomplishment. But when you look at it from our perspective and know everything that went into it, you certainly have a great appreciation for what happened.

Another thing that really puts everything into perspective is watching Duke wrestle his final year of competition. I will be honest - it has been hard, especially for him. He has put in a lot of time, has improved greatly throughout the course of the last 2-3 years, and has the ability to be competing with the top kids in the country. But for whatever reason, he has been dealt a rough hand in his final year and is struggling with injuries for the second straight season. Is it fair?? I don't think so. But, it is what it is and he has to deal with it. Dad always told us, "you play with the hand you are dealt, and you do your best," and I have to admit I have a great respect for what Duke is doing. He knows injuries are holding him up, and he knows things could be very different if it weren't for the injuries. But instead of simply quitting or sitting out his final season (like anyone else in a similar situation would probably be doing...) he continues to fight on and continues to try to find ways to feel better and wrestle. He has had to switch his style a lot and can't wrestle as "free" as he would probably like to, and the adjustment at this stage in his career is difficult. But, again - I truly appreciate what he is doing and give him credit for sticking it out and trying to finish his career as best as he possibly can. To the random eye they might be looking at his results and saying, "man, he hasn't gotten better," but when you know everything that is going on, it makes you put into perspective what he is doing and what he is getting a chance to do. Like I said - it's not what he would like, but it sure beats a lot of other possible scenarios.

Speaking of which - another thing that has REALLY made me put things into perspective and is truly tragic is the death of Jacob Curby. 8 years ago, in February of 2002, I was a Senior in high school and "hated" Jacob Curby - only because he was standing across from me in Assembly Hall as my opponent for the 5th place match at 152lbs. I obviously didn't really hate him or dislike him at all - he was just the guy I was going against next, so I certainly couldn't be a friend of his at the time. He beat me 7-6 in a good match, and I walked away disappointed and probably liking him even less at the time. But since that day I have continued to follow his career and cheer for him and be a fan. He drove me to be better simply by beating me, and I have always secretly "thanked" him for that. I didn't know him as a person, outside of a couple "PMs" and seeing him around, but from all accounts he was a great man with a good mind and a huge heart. Wrestling was his passion and he worked his butt off to improve and become one of the best in our country. He overcame a lot in his life just to be able to step on the mat again, and he can serve as an inspiration to us all. Again, is this fair? Of course not. Life is not fair. It's not fair that people live until they are 70 years old doing drugs, committing crimes, and only hurting our society, while others are taken away far too early.

Something like this really makes you grateful for all that you have been given and makes you realize how short life can truly be. It is sad to me that it takes something like this for some people to sit back and start to value their lives more. We really have to learn to keep things in perspective and move forward consistently. No matter what you are going through or what has happened to you, life can always be a lot worse. There is no reason to consume yourself about losing a match or a game, or getting a B on a paper. Sure, you always want to win, but if you go out and do your best, you have to be willing to accept that sometimes you will lose. And, you have to realize that losing is not the worst thing that could happen to you in life. When things were hard for me or for Duke after a loss or something, dad would always say, "if this is the worst thing that happens to you in life, you will be a pretty lucky person" - and that's very true. Losing stinks and coming up short of your goals is never fun, but it also is not the end of the world. Life goes on for you. And we have to cherish that, because as we have learned recently in the Illinois wrestling community - life can be very short, even to the best of people.

God Bless Jacob Curby and the others that we have lost throughout our community and our lives.
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Old 01-25-2010
Wrestling Media
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Chicago
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Well done and very retrospective.
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Old 01-25-2010
Greenskin Greenskin is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 2,763
Thanks for the insight, Danny. Congrats to you, your team and your dad. I know this conference title was something special for you guys. I'm glad your team rose to the occassion. I was trying to explain to my son what it means to be a conference champ. I'm not sure he gets it, but someday he'll be able to put it in perspective as well.
"I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed!" Gen. George Patton
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Old 01-25-2010
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3-stylegrappler 3-stylegrappler is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 306
Well said Burkster, well said!
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Old 01-27-2010
CubsNerd23 CubsNerd23 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: LaSalle-Peru
Posts: 15
Amen to that Danny. Amen to that.

Last edited by CubsNerd23; 01-27-2010 at 08:26 PM. Reason: misspelling
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Old 01-27-2010
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Celtic50 Celtic50 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Peoria, Il
Posts: 302
Danny your blog about perspective shows a great level of maturity and perspective on your part. If you are passing things like this on to your wrestlers you are doing wonderful things for your wrestlers.
Technique makes em weak!
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