Why you can’t ever quit trying to win

In one of my earlier lives before Guaranty, I lived in Las Vegas for a few years as the controller for a company called Arneson Marine. Arneson built outdrives for high performance boats that were used by (among others) smugglers and shortly thereafter federal drug enforcement agents. We did not actually sell to people we knew to be criminals, they just ended up with a few boats equipped with our drives on occasion and the drives were so good, the government wanted some to keep pace. The president of that company at the time was Dave Villwock, who was an accomplished speedboat racer. At the time that he and I became friends, he was good enough to race the unlimited class of hydroplanes, a class of boat capable of speeds over 200 mph on the water. Dave was an experienced racer, and I found his descriptions of racing to be fascinating.

In a hydroplane race, there are generally only a few boats and not very many laps and I particularly remember a race he described to me one day. As the race started, Dave got off to a bad start and quickly found himself in last place. He was fighting the boat and not getting enough horsepower and stuck in fourth place. He was just keeping pace with the boat ahead of him, but not really gaining, he just couldn’t make the move, but suddenly around a corner the boat ahead of him skids wide in the turn and Dave is able to get in underneath before the other driver recovers. Then he was in third place but quite a ways back, and the two remaining boats were fighting it out. But also, his boat suddenly regained its lost horsepower and he started catching up. Again however, he couldn’t quite overcome the boat in second place until out of nowhere that driver makes a critical mistake and gets directly behind and much too close to the boat ahead of him and runs into the rooster tail of water that is created, dousing his engine. They call it a flame-out. Dave was in second place and coming in to the final turn he had the inside position and was able to scoot ahead of the last competitor and win the race.

He said to me, that’s racing, you can’t ever quit trying to win no matter where you are because you don’t ever know what is going to happen up ahead of you and you can’t control that anyway, you can only control what you do and you always need to be in position to win when things start falling your way.

How many of us have that attitude to keep fighting when all seems hopeless, or even difficult? How many times have you throttled back because the effort seemed too great only to see things get better, but you aren’t able to take advantage? You never know what is out ahead of you, but be in a position to win, never ever give up.


Have a great day.


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