Reach for the Summit : The Definite Dozen System for Succeeding at Whatever You Do
Pat Summitt, head coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols, is a phenomenon in women's basketball. Her ferociously competitive teams have won three NCAA championships in a row--1996, 1997, and 1998.
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March 02, 1999
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Excerpt from Reach for the Summit by Sally Jenkins
Never Wait 'Til Next Year
When I get after something, the veins in my neck stand out. The color begins to rise up from my collarbone, and you can see the pulse going in my throat, and my eyes look like the high beams of an oncoming car. I am what you would call a classic Type A personality. An extremely demanding person. Certainly the people close to me would tell you that, including my seven-year-old son, Tyler. In whom, may I just say, I have met my match. The other night, Tyler pulled out his own front tooth, and it wasn't even that loose. The fact that it was his only remaining front tooth, and that it bled like a slaughtered hog, and that he reminded me more than a little bit of myself, may have accounted for the exorbitant fee of seven dollars he received from the tooth fairy.
"Mama," Tyler says, when I get that look in my eye. "Please put your sunglasses back on."
That's who you're dealing with here. Someone who will sell her house to own your farm. Someone who will push you beyond all reasonable limits. Someone who will ask you to not just fulfill your potential, but to exceed it. Someone who will expect more from you than you may believe you are capable of. So if you aren't ready to go to work, shut this book.
They tell a story about me back in Henrietta, Tennessee. One day when I was about fourteen years old, I passed a neighbor boy who was struggling to load a forty-five-pound bale of hay on to a truck. He was hot and sweaty, and trying to push the bale up onto the flatbed. I was just a tall, stick-legged girl everybody called Bone.
I watched him for a minute, and then I said, "You want me to show you how to do that?"
I grabbed the bale from him and threw it four stacks high.