by Gary R. Vittorio

When you've lost the match and the hurt sets in
and you ask "Why? Why did I lose?"
You have to search deep down inside
And ask if you've paid you dues.

Don't carry on while folks are watchin'
Or shrug it off and just feel burned,
'Cause the man who's real evaluates
And look for the stones he left unturned.

Did I run out of gas when the going got tough?
Did I cut corners when it came time to condition?
Did I pump the iron until it hurt?
Did I check for my omission?

The summer came with the sun and the heat
And allowed for leisure and time to kill,
But did I go to tournaments and clinics
To increase and improve my skills?

And in the sessions of daily practice
When the coach prolonged the drill,
Did I push myself beyond exhaustion
To clinch the long, high hill?

Success isn't surely guaranteed
Because one possesses the tools,
It's effort, faith and endurance
That separates winners from fools.

So to those few who perhaps are listening to what I have to say,
It all boils down to one simple phrase,