Ok, so I stole the title of this post from a Garth Brooks song. While writing my obituary post last week, I spent some time reflecting on my life. Anyone reflecting on their life will come up with list of things they had wanted in their life. They may have even prayed for some of those to come true. I have a few of them that have stuck with me. The one that has stuck in my mind over the years was getting cut from my high school basketball team my senior year. At the time, I was devastated. I grew up in Indiana listening to the cleaning lady sing the IU fight song twice a week. I played for a high school coach who thought he was Bobby Knight.
I had done everything they had asked, and then some. Before the start of my senior year, I even took time off from a paying summer job to work free gratis at the coaches summer camp. I attended every “voluntary” workout. I would practice shooting late in the evening under the spotlights at home.
Yet, when it came time to have the final cut, I wasn’t on the list. I didn’t have the talent nor the right experiences. at first, I was devastated. I had always believed that, with hard work you could overcome anything. To that point, my philosophy had worked. Looking back, next to my three children and my wife, not making the team was the best thing that could have happened to me. Why:
- I got a chance to spend some time with my buddies Dale and Brian that I wouldn’t have gotten if I was on the team.
- I came to realize that I was not going to play collegiately. I was just a hard worker, not a talented athlete.
- I realized getting an education became more important than ever.
- I came to realize that even though I had worked hard, it wasn’t good enough.
- No matter how good I thought I was, a higher authority might think otherwise. Leave nothing to chance.
- My basketball game improved when I wasn’t fitting into a pre-defined role on a team by playing pickup games at the park or in University Gym at Ball State.
- I realized there are a bunch of jobs that I did not want to do the rest of my life. Some of them included shoveling pig manure, washing pots and pans, and saying “Welcome to Arby’s”.
- When life seems to not be going the way you want, you have to remember to keep breathing.
The song reference is campy. I admit it. You get my point though. I survived what I thought was a humiliating experience. I did so with the help of a couple of good friends and my parents. Unfulfilled wishes are not always as bad as they seem, but instead are opportunities for something better to happen.
I will carry this forward in my next post about Dave Dravechy.
Thanks for coming in today.