‚ÄúA life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.‚ÄĚ
That‚Äôs my favorite sports quote of all-time. So much so that it has become my email signature fixture. I wonder if Jackie Robinson truly understood the reverberation that those words meant, especially now with his ‚Äė42‚Äô is as much a staple of Americana as apple pie.
For you see, the quote is about legacy.
I think about mine a lot, too much for a person who is 13 days away from turning 40. I was raised in ‚ÄúBaseball Town USA‚ÄĚ (coined that in part because my alma mater has won nine state baseball championships, been state runner up four other times ‚Äď including this past spring ‚Äď and had the Gatorade national Athlete of the Year in 2017) Whiteville, North Carolina.
A town with under 6,000 people, my legacy, as I see it, is speed.
I wouldn‚Äôt consider myself a track star at Whiteville High School (outside of my two all-conference selections in the 200-meters) but most know of me because of it.
Small towns remember your athletic prowess.
But that part of my life faded to black when I crossed the finish line for the final time as a member of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke‚Äôs track team in 2005.
So I have allowed the foundation that I obtained through UNCP‚Äôs Mass Communications department to forge a new direction into legacy building.
I have been in print media since ‚Äô06, starting off as a cub reporter for the Daily Dispatch in Henderson (N.C.).
That transformed into a position with the Times-Dispatch in Richmond (Va.) where I spent four years covering both high schools (my coverage of swimming introduced me to future Olympic gold medalist, then a Richmond area prep star, Townley Haas) and the Division II Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
Most recently, I spent two award winning years as sports editor for the Daily Journal in Devils Lake (N.D.), from 2018 until the pandemic year, which sent many of us journalists out into the void.
In between, I taught literacy education and served as a visitor-resident liaison with a nursing facility, both positions solidifying my idea of legacy.
Impacting lives ‚Äď Robinson knew that is the best way to build one‚Äôs legacy.
As I begin this new chapter as your sports editor, I hope that I will be able to add more layers to my life by making a positive influence on you and the athletes I cover.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @NBHerald_Chris