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New goal for the New Year

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By Nick Schrager

Every now and again, the world, or a community, or a family, or a sport, loses an important figure.
Sometimes, it seems like these losses come in pairs or trios. Sometimes, they can be expected, sometimes, out of the blue.
Often, it seems, these strings of deaths have little in common with myself, or anyone I know. But when thrown in the mix of a new year, these deaths can’t help but make me think a little bit harder about life.
Recently, the world lost a major figure, Nelson Mandela. A bit closer to home, Marion County lost Marion County Clerk Karen Spalding. On New Year’s Day, the Associated Press lost a photographer. His name was Dave Martin. His cohorts called him “Mullet.”
Martin suffered from a heart attack on New Year’s Eve on the playing field after the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Montgomery, Ala. He had been taking celebration photos (one of his final images was of Texas A&M Coach Kevin Sumlin being drenched with water by one of his players).
Shortly after taking that photo, Martin collapsed on the field.
After being administered CPR on the spot, he was transported to Emory Hospital Midtown in Atlanta, Ga. He passed away early the next morning.
To be perfectly honest, I had no idea who Martin was prior to reading the story on New Year’s Day. I had never heard of him and the headline was buried deep under other copy of sports, press releases, and columns. I guess you could truly call him a hidden treasure.
One of the pictures that ran with the story shows Martin. He was an older looking gentleman with a white mustache and graying hair.
Again, to be perfectly honest, besides his age, he does not look like someone who you would think would be prone to having a heart attack.
And thinking about that is when this year’s resolution hit me.
Despite not knowing Martin, we had some things in common. Though he was a photo editor for the AP, at heart, he was a photographer, and so am I.
One thing that is different between us is I am probably more prone than he was to actually kicking the bucket in the exact same fashion.
That’s probably because I like food like pizza and burgers and most of the exercise I get consists of all the maneuvers I perform to get different pictures for The Enterprise.
But losing weight is not my New Year’s resolution.
No.
My New Year’s Resolution is to start giving a 110 percent in most everything I do and 120 percent in the things I especially don’t want to do.
Losses like Martin or Mandela or Spalding, while tragic, are eye openers because they are people who truly made a difference in other’s lives. The loss of good people is a reminder that we are here only once, so we better make it count.