With Wimbledon well underway I am always reminded of those words from a poem by Rudyard Kipling as the last thing the players see as they enter the centre court.
One of them will be meeting with triumph, one of them will be meeting with disaster and they will be doing so in front of millions of people worldwide.
One of them will be holding high the winners trophy, one of them will be holding the runners up plate. So many different emotions will be going through their minds – one of them ‘I’ve done it’ – triumph; the other ‘so near and yet so far ‘ – disaster.
What happens next is what matters, and what turns the different results into some more words from that poem – ‘You’ll be a man my son’.
How many plyers do you know were ‘runners up’ in a Wimbledon Final but went on in the future to be a Wimbledon Champion? My favourite of all time is the Goran Ivanisevic story – 3 times runner up and only getting into Wimbledon that last time on a wildcard when he went on to become Wimbledon Champion.
Do we sometimes give up when things haven’t gone our way, when we’ve encountered a few disasters? Hopefully not. Do we sometimes rest on our laurels when we’ve experienced triumph and think there’s no need to try further?
Both of them are ‘imposters’ in their different ways, both of them there to inspire us on to greater things, and if you do just that —
‘You’ll be a Man my son’.