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Buzz Aldrin’s House

Last night my friend, Dr. Rob Gilbert, made a bit of a pilgrimage.

He went to nearby Montclair, N.J., to walk past the childhood home of astronaut Buzz Aldrin. On the 40th anniversary of the day man first walked on the moon, Dr. Gilbert, a sports psychologist, stared at Aldrin’s home.

“To look at the house and think that a person who lived in it had walked on the moon was inconceivable,” Dr. Gilbert said.

So what made a sports psychologist go to the house in the first place, and what message did he take from it?

“Everything is possible,” Dr. Gilbert said.

Indeed, the overwhelming message is that greatness can rise from the most ordinary of beginnings. Nothing differentiates Aldrin’s home from any of the others on the block. Yet great achievement grew there.

On the same day that Dr. Gilbert walked past Buzz Aldrin’s house, I stopped by school for a meeting. And while there I saw a familiar summer sight: Sami Hirsh of Syracuse University’s soccer team. She was there with her notebook, her stopwatch and her water bottle, doing her conditioning drills. Nothing she did was extraordinary in itself. Anyone could have done what she was doing. But only she was doing it.

John Gardner said, “Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”

You can begin pursuing excellence right now. Why knows? You may hit the moon. Everything is possible.


One comment for “Buzz Aldrin’s House”

  1. another great story Mike
    makes me want to sign up for the space program or at least get back in training for varsity sports.
    At my age the mind is willing but the body has grown weak.

    Posted by Kevin Reilly | July 21, 2009, 5:45 pm

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