“…JUST AS RIVERS DON’T CUT THEIR PATH IN ONE EARTH SHATTERING MOVE, A LEGACY IS THE ACCUMULATION OF COUNTLESS SMALL ACTIONS AND UNTOLD LATE-NIGHT HOURS..”

What was the title of this short film? “BROTHERS”. All living characters we saw in the short film are brothers. Patrick and I may have different fathers, just like Sunny and Big Chief, but we are brothers. We love each other and we look after one another just like Sunny and Big Chief.

I look on this proof- Legacy. I know at times in my life I have been very busy with figuring out how I will leave my “legacy” behind. I, of course think it will be in an act of grandeur. It will be a building dedicated in my name. A street named after me, an award called the “Marcus Santi Lifetime Achievement Award”. I say this with a laugh.

When it gets down to it the proof states what Legacy is: “A LEGACY IS THE ACCUMULATION OF COUNTLESS SMALL ACTIONS AND UNTOLD LATE-NIGHT HOURS..”

Small actions that leave lasting memories is what Patrick, Sunny, Big Chief, and myself will have when it is all said and done.

Patrick changed my life. How? He did this “earth shattering” action- he was BORN. He was born into this world as my BROTHER. I took that honor seriously. We are 15 years apart in age. Although I think I am closing that gap right now ; ). I am trying to reverse the aging process. LOL

I remember the first time I ever held Patrick in my arms. I was holding what I thought was an alien bird. My world change the instant he grabbed my finger with his tiny hand. The light in the room changed. Things got brighter all the sudden. In a brief moment, life was renewed for me. God reached out and gave me a gift in so many ways.

Yes, at the age of 15 my tank was on empty. I didn’t really care about much at this point. When I would get out of bed in the morning, and the only reason why I got out of bed was for this single reason: I wanted to be the best big brother Patrick could have.

Fast forward to 3rd grade for Patrick. He’s 8 years old. His school as most schools do, have a field day competition. At Patrick’s school they have the “fun run”. Some of you may think that is an oxymoron​. No it is not. One lap around the soccer field, through the soccer goal and into the middle of the field to the finish line.

Over the years, Patrick would come with me to the track. During this time I was competing at the University of Memphis where I earned a track scholarship. I taught him how to run and would then put him through little workouts. Especially jumping drills. It worked, he could really jump. That also meant he was really fast. Explosion is explosion and when you sprint you’re jumping from one foot to the other, explosively.

I drew up a training program for him to follow 6 weeks out from the “fun run”. We’d get together and I would coach him through the workout. If we couldn’t meet up, we would speak on the telephone at night and he would tell me about his training for the day.

The BIG DAY arrives. Field Day “FUN RUN”. I show up and I take him into a quiet place so he can do a light warm up. This is how I like to warm up for big races. Get into a place of seclusion so I can be with me and my game plan.

Do I need to tell you how parents get more nervous for these events than the kids do? Do I need to tell you this is the father’s moment to relive through their child and become the Alpha Peacock amongst the other dads? Do I need to tell you that in every bunch there is a gambling parent and there were odds laid down on the race?

Patrick was going in as odds on favorite. As we all know, anything can happen at any time on race day.

All the kids. 50+ kids are all lined up at the starting line. It is a bunch start, just like a 5k road race, except they are all 8 years old. Need I say more?

My Step-father (Carl) and I are standing there watching. We are both nervous. He is really nervous. “You think he’ll win?” Carl asks me. I said “The only way he will not win this race is if something catastrophic happens like he falls at the start and gets trampled on.” BANG! The gun goes off and the race begins.

I look for Patrick..”OH NO!” There’s a pack of kids that got entangled and they have gone down! And who was at the bottom of the pile? Yup, Patrick was. Carl and I almost threw up we were so distraught. Patrick gets up, the race is almost 50-60 yards ahead of him by the time he gets going. To his credit he got up and got going.

We had a game plan on how to pace this race. He stuck to the pacing game plan. Very mature at the age of 8 to have the awareness to pace yourself through a 300+ yard sprint. Especially as you look up and the leaders of a race, you know you can win, is 50 yds away from you. What would you do?

Carl was convinced it was over. Patrick had no chance at winning. I’ll admit I wasn’t that far behind him in his belief. But!! Just as anything can happen negative on race day so can anything happen positive on race day. I was intrigued that Patrick was sticking to the game plan of pacing.

He starts picking off people left and right. There is about 150 yards left in the race. There is still this really big gap between him and first place, 30-35 yards. At this point I lean over to Carl “I think there is a chance.”

Patrick was about to enter the part of the strategy where he is going to really open up his speed, and he does. Now he is really passing the kids up. He’s in 8th, 7th, 5th, 3rd and now the turn through the goal posts. As he is moving up passing all these kids. Carl and I are having “our” moment, little did we know. We were in such a frenzy. I keep repeating over and over “there’s a chance. there’s a chance. There’s…He’s going to win this Carl!! he’s going to win this!!”.

Carl is yelling “come on Patrick..come on Patrick!” As Patrick goes through the goal there is 40 yds to the finish line. There is still this one kid 10 yds in front of Patrick. To most it looked like an insurmountable gap. The race comes down to a lean at the tape. The kid who went down in the beginning came out on top!!

Carl and I have lost our minds. I think it is the most excited I ever saw Carl. We are jumping up and down holding each other. He was never a hugger.

Carl built up million dollar companies and then sold them. I don’t think he ever got as excited over those sales as he was when he watched his son, my brother, over come an insurmountable gap on that Field Day of 1996.

The time spent preparing for success in that moment is what I have left to my brother. The memories surrounding and leading up to Field Day ’96. We all have them stored in our mind. No one can take them from us.

Here we are today, 22 years later and I am still sharing with him how to succeed with his physical fitness goals. Really it is a formula he and I can apply into all areas of our lives. Workout with a purpose and train smart. All the while enjoying the steps leading up to the victories of life.

A LEGACY IS THE ACCUMULATION OF COUNTLESS SMALL ACTIONS AND UNTOLD LATE-NIGHT HOURS..”

I don’t know if there is ever going to be a street, a building, or an award named after me. My Legacy is the love I have put into those around me. In the end I hope their lives are better for it.