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Column: JUST DO IT…because tomorrow holds no promises

The time to live your dream is right now
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Just do it.

It was an advertising campaign slogan rolled out by Nike, more than 40 years ago.

Of course, it was intended to sell sneakers, and was wildly successful.

Nike dominated the sports shoe industry for decades, based on those three little words, increasing sales from $887 million to $9.2 billion over 10 years.

The origins of the slogan are intriguing, as those words were the last ones uttered by a man preparing for execution.

Indeed, he demanded to be put out of his misery.

Gary Gilmore, born in 1940, was a career criminal in the United States who admitted to killing two people, for apparently no reason.

While there were many opportunities to commute his death sentence, he insisted on being put down like a rabid dog.

So he was, on Jan. 17, 1977, by firing squad, at the Utah State Prison.

Well this sounds quite grim, yes?

Gilmore’s last words were reported to be: “You know, let’s just do it.”

Somehow, that phrase was captured by an advertising firm employed by Nike and they trimmed the language.

An executive commented: “You know, let’s just do it.

I remember when I read that I was like, that’s amazing. I mean how, in the face of that much uncertainty, do you push through that?

“So I didn’t like the ‘let’s’ thing, and so I just changed that, cause otherwise I’d have to give him credit.”

Just do it.

It kind of changes everything.

Recently, I had one of those moments, when I decided to ‘just do it,’ to fulfill a dream.

This was a lifetime wish, which I thought was too expensive and impractical, and no one would understand.

As is turned out, friends and family supported the endeavour wholeheartedly.

Two of the DeMeer progeny even came along – but only because they were worried I would lose myself someplace across the Atlantic.

I do tend to wander.

So in my case it was a trip, to visit Belfast, Northern Ireland, in order to experience the place Titanic was built.

Oh, and also to eat the best fish and chips on the planet.

In nearly every way, this journey exceeded expectations. I stumbled off an airplane last week after 24 straight and consecutive hours of travel, completely exhausted and totally satisfied.

Every person has a desire, something they want to accomplish or enjoy.

Write a memoir, pick up a university course online, learn another language or to play the piano, or to knit.

Have a baby, train for a marathon, adopt a puppy, climb a mountain or audition for your first role in the local theatre group.

Tomorrow is promised to nobody.

So in the words of a convicted murderer, the Nike corporation and a woman who lived her dream…


Andrea DeMeer is the publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight in Princeton.

Andrea DeMeer

About the Author: Andrea DeMeer

Andrea is the publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight.
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