Loveprints should begin at home, and in my case, it was wearing a huge smile and running shoes. Robert Smith was larger than life to me, in his ability to bring the world into our house, and to hold our hand while leading us into the world. I remember watching him refuse to have his Black Knights football jersey cut off when they tried to treat the broken collarbone he injured in a game. I thought, THAT is awesome! I remember seeing him with free weights in the back yard, and asking why it made him faster. (It made him STRONGER, which made him faster). I recognized early that he was a student, AND an athlete, and that the two should be working together. And, he made being moved in service cool. I wanted to know more about Christ, service, and purpose.
He would travel to races and come home with t shirts from wherever he went. I began to search those places out and wonder if I would ever go there. What would it take to walk in his footsteps? What has he seen and done while he was there? What will it take for me to do the things that he has done? He was photographed, interviewed, and followed. And yes, he was popular.
He was an amazing athlete. Olympic Trials in sprinting, College All American. Program changer. He went on to become a community leader, a husband, father, and favorite son. He is a leader of spirits, a calming presence, and the glue that keeps his family and others together. He simply is love walking, talking, and in action.
What he did was show me the road out of our neighborhood. He showed me how academics were important, and he showed me that I could see the world because he had. He made me dream of bigger things, be curious about life, and to be decent while pursuing those things. He taught me to be a better brother, son, and man. His LovePrints are all over me and mine. I had to share him with you all. He is too amazing to keep to myself. I hope that you had a hero in your house. I sure am thankful for him. Love in action. Action in love.