Out of Nowhere is a book about Nike written from the perspective of one of the earliest and most loyal employees of Nike, Geoff Hollister. I really enjoyed this book even though I am no longer much of a believer in the Nike story. I think Nike is the 800 gorilla that has corrupted track and field. That is something that happened beginning in the late 1980’s and continues today, but this book is about the founding of Nike and the influence of Bill Bowerman. It brought back a rush of fond memories for me of the days when the sport of track and field still had a bit of purity and interest in the essence of the sport – competition. It is a good read. Geoff is battling cancer and that is the focus of the last two chapters. The following quote is the last two paragraphs of the book, I thought they were worth sharing.
…Life thrusts you into a competitive environment. How do you prepare for the realities and the unknown? Hopefully you have a mentor, a Bowerman who pushes you at that critical time. A time when someone has a belief in your future more than you do. it’s not about how long you live but how you contribute. It’s about doing your best and doing the right thing. It’s about recovering from your mistakes and not giving up. It’s about the baton pass to a new generation. It’s about the realization that you cannot go it alone. It takes a team.
In the end, you are somewhere in the middle, part of a never ending process. The future will never remember what was in your bank account or what kind of car you drove. The future will remember that wild ride of life where you believed in others and left a gift behind for someone else to dream the impossible. The gift was your own life. It does not matter whether it was long or short. What did you leave behind?