If

I had the opportunity this weekend to visit Louisville, Kentucky and attend the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby.  I am just beginning to find out on how many peoples “bucket list” attending the Derby is on.  Attending was really amazing, but I also had the chance to do something else that should be on every sports fans bucket list.

ali logoOn Friday I visited the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville.  The Ali Center is more than a museum; the mission of the Muhammad Ali Center is to preserve and promote the legacy and ideals of Muhammad Ali, to promote respect, hope, and understanding, and to inspire adults and children everywhere to be as great as they can be.

 

Be Great:: Do Great Things

The tour of the Ali Center begins with a moving, 16 minute film about the life of Muhammad Ali, based on Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “If

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
 are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

After the movie (with not a dry eye in the house), you depart the theatre and begin the museum tour.

I could literally have spent a week going through the Ali Center.  Taking in all of the inspiring quotes, the movies of his boxing matches, and stories of his philanthropic work was overwhelming.  If you ever have a chance to visit Louisville,  the Derby is a fun sporting spectacle for sure.  Visiting the Muhammad Ali Center is a deeply moving experience.  Put it on your bucket list.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com      

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