Name: George Dittmar
Parent of: Allysa Dittmar ’14
I think we all have had some experience of peak performance. It may last a moment or a few hours. It could be a medical person saving someone from a grave illness, an artist spilling creativity over his painting, or maybe even a student simply being inspired by a professor. The experience usually takes us out of the day to day routine and gives a glimpse of “other worldliness.” A glimpse of how special life can be. Someone said life is a metaphor and I tend to agree. The best metaphor for peak performance in my opinion is sports, especially lacrosse (…you know where this is
When I first set foot on the campus at Johns Hopkins I felt that this is a place where peak performance is possible. For my daughter, it was love at first sight as well. I suspect for some of the same reasons I had. I saw a student body that exudes goodwill, concern, and brilliance – peak performance. A Dean of Students that treats my daughter as if she were the only person she had to worry about and not thousands – peak performance (thank you, Dean Boswell). Professors that truly care for their students – peak performance. And watching my daughter thrive and excel at Johns Hopkins – peak performance.
Did I mention the lacrosse team? Excellent. Extraordinary. Often and for sure capable of peak performance. I know because I saw it. I drove all the way down from New Jersey and I had the good fortune to witness the UVa game (the Blue Jays won in OT, becoming 8 – 0). Peak performance. Coach Pietramala has created a team and attitude where the “other worldly” can take place. It was such an intense game. I have never seen such defensive focus and patience – peak performance. Those lacrosse games are the kind of experiences that can stay with those players all their lives and perhaps help them through the difficulties life invariably presents. Experiences that we all can carry with us.
I’ve experienced it myself. After I graduated from college, I played on an unknown rugby club. We played a great team from Washington D.C. Their team was filled with New Zealanders, Englishmen, South Africans, and Australians. My counterpart at scrum half was purported the best in the world. We played on the National Mall at cherry blossom time in the spring. From the time I set foot on the pitch, I knew I would best my man and that we would win. And we did – peak performance. That experience still stays with me today. I love to watch my daughter’s friend play rugby at Hopkins; it brings back great memories and I see the peak performance in him too. At Hopkins, be it rugby players, artists, or students, will all experience such extraordinary peak performance. Much more than what I’ve experienced. And it will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
I love Johns Hopkins University for the harmony, kinship, and brilliance that it has helped create in my daughter’s life at a time when one would have believed these experiences would be impossible.
Johns Hopkins: peak performance.