President's Message: Lessons Learned

Sep 15, 2016

Sometimes the best lessons in life come from the most unexpected of places.

I’ve learned a lot of lessons in my journey. I’m sure you can relate. Some have been good ones. Others, devastatingly hard. Or at least they seemed so at the time. I’ve also learned that time has a way of making those lessons take on a new complexion.

My middle son is a cross country runner. He’s been doing this now for quite a few years. He’s never the first to finish and never the last. Like his birth order, he tends to fall somewhere in the middle.

When he first began running, being the competitive person I am, I tried to encourage and inspire him to move to the front. I’d often yell as he ran by, “Go get that guy in front of you!” Or something to that effect.

When I couldn’t attend a race, I’d ask for his times, ask where he finished. He could never remember the times, nor where he placed. He just said he had a good run. I just struggled with that. Couldn’t understand why you wouldn’t want to know so you could push yourself harder next time. My early lessons told me you should strive for good, better, best.

Now, I’ve been known to have a slight stubborn streak (my wife can verify), so it took me a while to really understand the new lesson in all of this.

But I was at his meet last week and I guess you’d say it finally dawned on me… he loves cross country simply because he loves to run and be part of a team. He’s nearly "hero-worshipped" by some of his teammates – even though most finish ahead of him – in part I believe because he refuses to run anyone else’s race. Instead, he revels in running his own. He could simply care less where he finishes and he cheers on his competitors and teammates, earning him great admiration and respect because of it.

When I stepped back, I realized I was witnessing a remarkable spectacle and a valuable lesson broke through. Life isn’t about “winning” all the time or seeking some new horizon. Sometimes, it’s just about running the race.

So Micah… lesson learned. Thank you!

Now to all of you racing to get your plans in place for the 2016 NASGW Expo and Annual Meeting, don’t worry, we won’t be timing you. We’re just glad you’re taking part and we’re really looking forward to hosting you in Kansas City in about six weeks.

If you haven’t registered yet, you can take care of all that from our website at Be sure to check out the New Product Showcase when you’re there, as you’ll see those excellent products at the show this year. Since I’m mentioning websites, we just unveiled our new website, which is a dramatically new and better way for us to communicate with you, our members. I hope you like it. (There’s more about the website later in InSights.)

If you haven’t gotten your tickets for Tuesday’s Awards Dinner and Reception, please make every effort to get that accomplished as well. We’re planning big things to make this one of the best award shows we’ve ever done. Plus you’ll get to hear from rising star Dana Loesch. With the elections just two weeks after the show, she’s sure to have some great stories to tell.

Finally, please make sure to plan some time for fun in Kansas City. You’ve all been crazy busy and the elections may send your workload through the roof. Plan to enjoy the time in Kansas City and let us know if we can be of help in any way at all.

Until next time,


Kenyon Gleason

President, NASGW

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