This might sound a little funny to a bunch of people out there, (or those that don’t!), but I was going through my old-time luggage trunk. This is a trunk that was bought by my grandfather in 1917; over 100 years old! The story is, my Mom wanted to throw it out, because it was taking up space, and it’s not attractive, (and I’ll vouch for that), but my grandfather bought it, and had put a note inside of the trunk, stating that he, and his brother bought it. I said, quite definitely, “I’m taking it!”. No way was I going to let something like this, (in my mind, a family classic), to be thrown out. I brought it home, did what I could do to recondition it, and had a beautiful piece of tainted glass made up to the trunks size, and set it up as my coffee table, where it became my “chest” for trophies, medals from high school, grade school, and college, and also uniforms from the sports teams that I was involved with as I was growing up. Even my letterman’s jacket from high school, ( of course with all of my “letters”. not enough space on the jacket for all of them!). In between the glass, and the top of the trunk, is the letter from my grandfather, and now, because of my Dad’s passing, his obituary is with His fathers possession. I think it is so cool!
So I’m looking through it a couple of weeks ago, and I came across an “Autograph Booklet” from 8th grade graduation, and that’s really hard for me to realize that I actually had that! There was a quote in there, from a good friend of mine from grade school, that said, “Scott, why are you always in a rush?”. Think about that; what would a grade school kid, even at 8th grade, have to be in such a rush for? Can’t think of why, or how, that could be ME! I kind of think, (present day), that I try to think things through, and take my time. I can also remember those words, back in those days. I had to be first, had to be captain of the basketball team, captain of the school guards; remember those school guards with the shoulder belts to hoist up the American flag, and then at the end of the day, take it down, and just as a veteran would fold his flag, and so did I. Had to rush around, and go…..nowhere. Really, what was so important, that I had to be first, had to hurry, had to keep going like I was going to miss something, anything, whatever! How did I get past that? Don’t have an answer for that; but I will throw an idea out there. Sports. Team sports.
Team sports means patience, letting the play (of whatever sport you’re playing), play out. every play changes, sometimes within. In the past week, if you watched playoff football, the last play of a game can dictate who won, and those that didn’t; that play didn’t happen until the last play of the game, and you had to have patience , and believe in your TEAM, not just you and yourself. You don’t have to hurry when you get behind on points, or runs. Believe in your commitment to your team, because every other teammate had to do that, too. I know that I’m a little biased here, and you can ask anyone that I work with, or communicate with, team sports provides us with patience, skills to work with others, competitiveness to win, (but with others at each others side), compassion with the play of others, or their compassion towards me when I fail on a play, or a situation. Hard work makes you be at your best, because the next guy is doing the same thing to take your position, because no one gets a break; you win, or you loose. That last statement doesn’t mean that your life depends on winning and losing, it just means that if your give your best on a team, in practice or in a game, it could also impact your life on giving your best in everything you do. Team sports also give you an insight on sacrifice, the moments that you have the team to think about, and prepare for, rather than other events that could be part of your life, but team comes first. How about the fact that “team” could also mean your family; ie sacrifice, competitiveness, hard work, and commitment to your family, (it could go on and on…). Sports can humble you, also. In a sport, the outcome means that a team “wins”, and a team “loses”. This is life, no one is perfect; we have all seen what we would call “the best”, come in second, or beyond. Losing means your next time CAN be perfect, as with your life! When we get over that hurdle that set us back, you have now achieved something that you didn’t do before, and now you have the opportunity to push yourself ahead, to use everything to get your best in front of you; and if you have given your best, well, you just won, because you gave what you could, and you feel good about what you could do. When this happens, you didn’t take “winning” for granted, because you tried, and you tried your best. To me, it also means that “losing” can actually mean “winning”. We learn, we accept losing, and try to live in giving to others, and we love others, because we gave them everything we had in sports, why not in life? We must love others, how would we get on with life if we think that we always have to fight for our power? Doesn’t work that way. Love, be courteous, and enjoy giving to others, and believe me when I tell you, that one way or another, others will be giving back to you in ways that you can never except.
So slow down, let the play, play out,( you can’t rush a game) and give to the team without ever excepting anything back, because you will give a “winning” game throughout your life.