Aren’t you loving the Olympics? It’s seductive viewing. In an unexpected way, it makes you feel good about humanity — which may be the surprising point of the whole endeavor (in addition to the clear Olympic mandate to sell us each a new car before the last gold medal is hung). But have you noticed the emphasis by winner after winner that at last all their hard work paid off. And they are right. They sacrificed their time and put in the disciplined effort to get where they got. Without a doubt, they’ve earned the accolades.
But, in applying the sacrificed-their-time theory, what about Roy and his gold medal? Roy generally pulls up with his battered pickup truck about nine every morning in a post-apocalyptic parking lot off Urbandale Avenue.
He then sells Grimes Sweet Corn until as late as seven at night.
He has worked every day but one since the 4th of July. Even as I talked to him, a steady stream of customers approached, clutching crumpled bills as they negotiated. He would up-sell in a friendly banter: “Just corn? How about tomatoes and watermelon? You’re the only one that eats watermelon in your family? Well, then you better get you one.” See, better than therapy and Roy hasn’t even yet mentioned that he’s throwing in an extra ear of corn. Everyone gets a prize.
Roy will work this spot right up through September. When asked what he does in the off-season, he said he delivers pizza in Grimes, he moves snow, and he sells a car or two. In other words, what Roy does is work. He works in the blistering heat and he works in the numbing cold. He doesn’t complain (who would he complain to — he doesn’t yet have his twitter site up and running) and he shows up.
Roy turned 45 last Tuesday. He has three kids and a grandson. What’s Roy’s plan for the future? Where is he going? Is he thinking about competing in Rio? Nope. Roy told me he plans to work. Period.
Olympic champion? Why not.