"Great moments... are born from great opportunity. And that's what you have here, tonight, boys. That's what you've earned here tonight. One game. If we played 'em ten times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight, we stay with them. And we shut them down because we can! Tonight, WE are the greatest hockey team in the world. You were born to be hockey players. Every one of you. And you were meant to be here tonight. This is your time. Their time is done. It's over. I'm sick and tired of hearing about what a great hockey team the Soviets have. Screw 'em. This is your time. Now go out there and take it."
-Herb Brooks (Miracle)
I think that's what I love about sports so much, because you see guys given great opportunity, and when you see them take... truly make the most of it, it is a very, very special thing. Those of you who went to college with me are probably already rolling your eyes or laughing at the fact that I quoted 'Miracle' to open this post up. But to me, that is one of the truest instance of someone ceasing an opportunity. Those boys weren't even the best hockey players in their country, and they took it to a Russian team that lost about once a decade... and never to the USA. But this is just one of the many movies that make up the sports genre that are about the same thing, a individual or team that overcomes great adversity to be great. It sometimes puts these men or women on a pedestal and makes them out to be of stronger moral fiber... or they were born with some exemplary trait... or just something that you or I don't possess is what makes them great. But what is that magical skill that our heroes possess that so desperately eludes us? They realize they have an opportunity, and they take advantage of it! Now, I'm not saying that they haven't been blessed with some other gifts or abilities. I for one, despite all my hoping, praying, and wishing, will never be 7' tall. I will never be 6'6" either. My career as an NBA superstar was doomed from the get go. But that doesn't mean I haven't been presented with opportunities. There are 7' guys across the globe not playing a professional sport, and there are 5' 10 guys playing division I basketball at big name programs. And I got cut from my high school basketball team as a Junior. I can never say, my height cost me a shot at playing college basketball. Now I was never terribly athletic, but heart and hard work can make up for a lot of skill and athleticism (reason I made it through my sophomore year). But not all opportunities are sports related, "everyday" people are presented with excellent opportunities every day. It is always easier to look at someone else and say "Man, they are so lucky, the have X and I never had that chance or gift or opportunity" and that may be true... I can look at Roy Hibbert and say "Man, I never will be 7' tall" and pout about it (those of you who know me, there are days that I know I do this). But I forget some of the opportunities that have been presented to me. I am in graduate school for chemistry... not a lot of people can say that. I sometimes joke that I'm not sure how I got in, or that I am the dumb kid here, but I am here, am I making the most of this opportunity... that's the question you have to ask yourself. That's the important question, am I making the most of the gifts/chances/opportunities I have. Those things that people look at you and say "Man, I wish I had that chance/was that smart/ was that talented" are you using those? There are gifts I have not taken full advantage of, I will be the first to admit it. There are days that I am lazy. There are days I focus on the things that I don't have rather than the things I do have. I am not perfect, I'll be the first to admit it, and I have had people in my life that call me out on it too. I know this isn't your typical sports post, particularly from me, but this week I am going to challenge you, take a look at your life... figure out what opportunities you have been presented with and see if you have any moments this week to truly be great. And if you do... take them, be great... be memorable... impact someones life... do something special.
Have a great week,
-T.O. signing out