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Give Us Your Tired Excuses
Steve Rushin
November 27, 2006
IF YOU think you're tired at the end of the day, try getting a real job, such as international tennis star, touring golf professional or major league outfielder; after that your job in roofing or road construction will seem like a day at the beach.
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November 27, 2006

Give Us Your Tired Excuses

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Strangely, that kind of ill-defined fatigue goes unchallenged. It is obvious exhaustion that's unforgivable. With 600 meters remaining in the Olympic 2,000-meter women's eights rowing final in Athens, Australia's Sally Robbins slumped in her seat and let her oar drag in the water. "Fatigue set in, and I just couldn't move," she said. Still, her teammates threatened to throw her overboard.

When you nod off on the job, it isn't broadcast to the world. But then mere weariness won't get you out of work either. Fatigue might excuse you from the John Deere Classic. It won't excuse you from John Deere.

At his Baseball Hall of Fame induction last summer, Bruce Sutter thanked his late father, Howard. "He would come home from work, and I'd always be waiting there with a glove and a ball," Sutter said of his childhood in Mount Joy, Pa. "He was never too tired to go outside and play catch. After a few throws he would always take out his handkerchief and put it in his glove for padding. To this day I think he did it to build up a young man's ego."

Our parents weren't really tireless. They just didn't complain. Me, I frequently moan about fatigue, as if I were an athlete. I take comfort in the words of Willy Loman's wife, who said in Death of a Salesman, "A small man can be just as exhausted as a great man."

If you have a comment for Steve Rushin, send it to rushin@siletters.com.

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