Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!
Are you a basketball fan? College basketball, that is. As you know, I am a BIG college basketball fan! Have not watched many NBA games since the GOAT (Michael Jordan) retired. When my son was little, he thought he was MJ while his best friend, our neighbor, was Scottie Pippen, always playing basketball in our driveways and cul-de-sac. Watched a lot of Chicago Bulls games back then (in addition to Carolina basketball!).
“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to: climb it, go through it, or work around it.” Michael Jordan
Is all the talk around “the water cooler” centered on March Madness? Did you fill out a bracket (or 2 or 3)? Busted yet or are you still in the run for the $$ in the pool? I picked some early upsets (Murray State, Liberty, Wofford) which had me at #4 in one of my pools for about an hour, but they really did not help me in the long run. And was surprised by early losses of others I had picked to move on (Villanova, Louisville). Still… my HEELS won both games in the first round, which is more than I can say for this time last year when they lost in the second game.
“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” Joshua J. Marine
Last year really put the “Madness” in March Madness as the unthinkable happened when UVA, the #1 overall seed, lost to the #16 seed UMBC (University of Maryland Baltimore County, the Retrievers, for those of you who have never heard of them!) in the first round. History was made. Never before had a #1 seed lost to a #16. So what did UVA do this year in their first game as a #1 seed again? Well… they scared all of their fans and threatened to bust a majority of brackets in the first half of their first game, before putting their game faces on and rolling to the Sweet 16. Survive and move on.
“Struggles are required in order to survive in life. Because in order to stand up, you gotta know what falling down is like.”
However, since the unthinkable happened last year, could it happen again to another #1 seed? I mean, no one ever considered that possibility before. Those first round games were “gimmies” for the #1 seeds in the brackets. Until… last year. So now the possibility of that upset is in every player’s (and fan’s) mind. UNC (also a #1 seed) gave us a scare in the first half of their first game last Friday when they were down by 5 at halftime. Could they be overlooking this “gimmie” game, and instead thinking about games down the road? Thankfully, the Heels came back in the second half and won 88-73 after getting an emotional pep talk from Coach Hubert Davis, who had been in this position before as a player for UNC. Plus, Coach of the Year, Roy Williams, told his team that he was not going to yell at them, he was going to coach them – set up the first play out of the half, which was successful, and Carolina never looked back as they moved on to the Sweet 16. Survive and move on.
“The real winners in life are the people who look at every situation with the expectation that they can make it work or make it better.” Barbara Pletcher
As luck would have it for Duke (also a #1 seed), they eked out a win in the final seconds of their second game. At this point, a win is a win, no matter how ugly. On to the Sweet 16. Survive and move on.
“You know why it’s hard to be happy? It’s because we refuse to let go of the things that make us sad.”
Have you experienced any “upsets” in your life? Obviously I had a big “upset” in my life 3 years ago. I may have exited that tournament early, but I lived with that loss, and just like the UVA team, I put my game face on, put my hurt and embarrassed feelings aside, and moved forward. Refocused, “coached” by friends and family, worked on MY life and myself, and came back ready for the next challenge. Survive and move on.
“There are all these moments you think you won’t survive. Then you survive.” David Levithan
So when upsets and disappointments in life bring you down, and they will, or when you find yourself the underdog, put your game face on, dig deep within yourself, and survive and move on. Because there is a wonderful life and a wonderful world out there for each of us. It won’t be served up on a platter, you have to work for it, but you can do it! Pick yourself up and do what makes you happy, with those who make you happy, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.
PS In the words of the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), Michael Jordan, “The Ceiling is the Roof.”
PSS Did you know that Vince Carter (also a GREAT Tar Heel!) is the oldest active player in the NBA at the age of 42? 42 is considered old?!?!? Don’t they know 60 is the new 40? Just sayin’….