Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. Arthur Ashe Jr.

Inspiration can come to us in many different ways – Ted Talks offers 3,400 inspiring  talks to “stir your curiosity;” Inc. Magazine offers a list of the “25 Most Inspiring Books Everyone Should Read;” and let’s not forget YouTube, where every day, regular people like you and me tap into our emotions and inspire us to look at life differently.  

Being inspired can help put things in perspective, reframe negative thinking and encourage optimism when life throws curve balls in our direction. So, in an effort to support and encourage our readers, we’re launching the Visto Summer of Inspiration blog series. In this first blog, let me introduce you to Arthur Robert Ashe Jr.

Arthur was born July 10, 1943 in Richmond, Virginia. At the age of 36, he suffered his first heart attack, and on February 6, 1993, he died at the young age of 49. The cause of death was AIDS-related pneumonia, which he contracted from a blood transfusion he received during one of his heart surgeries.

Start Where You Are

On his way to a storied tennis career that included many societal firsts, Arthur lost his mother at the age of 13, his slight build garnered him the nicknames, “skinny” and “bones” growing up, he dealt with racial inequities, and he was plagued with a bad heart.

Use What You Have

Arthur, however, was not deterred — he graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, served in the United States Army, and went on to become the first African American player selected to the United States Davis Cup team and the only man of color to ever win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open. In 1968, he was ranked world No. 1 and ended his tennis career with 818 wins, 260 losses and 51 titles. In 1985, he was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. 

In retirement, he flourished as a writer for Time magazine and The Washington Post, and a commentator for ABC Sports. And, he founded the Junior Tennis League, and served as captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team for four years. 

Do What You Can

In 1988, he authored and published a three-volume book titled A Hard Road to Glory: A History of the African-American Athlete – he viewed this book as more important than any tennis titles.

Along with being an active civil rights supporter, he was a spokesperson for the American Heart Association, founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health to help address issues of inadequate health care delivery.

Read Days of Grace. A Memoir and be inspired. Good things happen one person at a time – be that person.

Click here to learn more about how you can advance your career in Property Management and save 20% on any Visto purchase through 7/31/20.