Arthur Ashe with the Wimbledon trophy after he beat the defending champion Jimmy Connors in four sets, 6-1, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 6th July 1975. [Photo by Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images]

There are a few classic stories that I share every 1-2 years as part of my attempts to internalise them.

One of these is from tennis legend Arthur Ashe, the only black man to ever win the Wimbledon, US Open, and Australian Open.

He contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion he received when he was in surgery and once received a letter from a fan asking why, of all people, was he chosen to have AIDS?

To which, he replied:  

“The world over – 50,000,000 children start playing tennis, 5,000,000 learn to play tennis, 500,000 learn professional tennis, 50,000 come to the circuit, 5,000 reach the grand slams, 50 reach the Wimbledon, 4 make the semi finals and 2 make the finals. When I was the one holding the cup, I never asked god “Why me?”

Arthur Ashe taught us that if we are not asking “why me” when things are going well, it is not fair to ask “why me” when things are not.

One of the most profound reminders I have gotten to keep perspective and to keep plugging away…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s