My story is about Lou Spealler, who taught me science in Grade 4 at the "Old Campus". We remained sort of friends and in 9th Grade I joined the GA swim team. Mr. Spealler was the swim coach. After two years of swimming and playing football, Mr. Spealler came to me one day after football practice and said, "Art, how do you think you are as a football player?" My response was that I was OK, sort of "meat on the line", but never would be really good (a true statement!).
He than asked, "How 'bout swimming?" My response was that I wasn't great, but I was a better swimmer than football player.
Then he nailed me nicely: "Maybe you should consider giving up football and try to be the best swimmer you can be."
I thought about this, and followed his advice. I did well swimming at GA, swam four years at Princeton, and then competed more than 25 years in the US Masters Swim Program.
All because Mr. Spealler challenged me to think ahead and decide what was my better course of action.
-Art Smith '57