Athletes sometimes get a bad rap, and unfortunately, they bring it upon themselves. Most of the time it's professional athletes who do something unprofessional to make the news.
They bring a gun into a nightclub, they get involved with dogfighting, or kill a pedestrian while driving drunk. And then there's the performance-enhancing drugs issue.
College athletes do things from time to time that make the nightly news, and so do high school athletes.
But this story isn't about those types of athletes. I want to share a story about a college golfer who took the time to count her blessings after winning a major tournament.
Aimee Neff of Carmel won the Indiana Woman's Open at The Legends of Indiana last month by 4 strokes. She was tied going into the final round, and remained steady and won without much drama in the end.
Aimee is a member of Michigan State University's golf team, and is considered one of the better amateur players in Indiana. I've known her since her high school days when my daughter and Linton-Stockton's golf team played in invitationals with Aimee's team, Indianapolis Brebeuf.
The Open winner always gives a short speech, and Aimee's wasn't more than three or four minutes long. But it was her words that I hope others listened to, and I want to share.
I didn't take notes so I can't repeat it word for word, but I can paraphrase.
She thanked the Indiana PGA, The Legends staff, her parents, her coaches, and competitors.
Then she "Thanked my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." She thanked him for her talent, among other things.
Here's a college student thinking of more than just the next golf tournament or where she's going to place her new trophy. She understands there's a higher power in charge, and has the understanding to say thank you.
I don't say thank you enough. Heck, I have a hard time showing any emotion at times (just ask my wife). But Aimee's words hit home.
I know I have many blessings, starting with a wonderful family, a nice place to live, a good job, my health, and many more things.
We're only on this earth for so long, and how we act now will determine how we spend eternity. A simple thank you to the one who controls all seems appropriate.
I've often heard this saying, and I believe it's true: It takes more effort to be negative and hateful than it does to be understanding and thoughtful.
Great job Aimee!