playing through it

Today was hard. So was most of last week. And I’m supposed to be the got-my-shit-together grown up in this equation. To be fair, I do a decent job of showing up on time and answering questions and being organized and doing the stuff that maybe goes unnoticed but also makes it so things go smoothly. But I am really struggling right now. The usually brief predictable mid season slump is hanging in there stubbornly. I feel like I suck at this thing that I love and it's making me so, so sad.

I am driven and competitive and all kinds of imperfect. I want us to work harder. I want us to do better. I am also fiercely in touch with what's going right . My team is amazing — strong, gritty, positive, fun-loving, supportive — but for fucks sake enough with the character building. Got it. I have so many losing seasons from my high school days and so much practice finding the positive as a coach and so many good TED talks under my belt. I met my soul mate and fell madly in love and then watched him die. Literally. Right in front of me while my not-yet-a-toddler slept in the other room. Did I mention, got it?

I’m not complaining right now. It probably sounds like I’m complaining, but my point is that I understand the whole figure out what’s working and find the silver lining and practice gratitude thing. I’m not saying I’m Buddha, but for the most part I think my priorities are pretty good and my values are reasonable and I have friends and I know to just stop and check out this morning’s ridiculous pink and orange sunrise cloud sky thing — I do. This is largely what fuels the show up every day, ready, expecting the best. Even when the next thing that happens is getting thrown down. We’ve put in the time and shown up and worked hard and turned the other cheek . Is it too much to ask for a win? This team deserves a goddamn win.

Out the bus windows Camel’s Hump is bathed in dark blue and purple and the evening autumn sun shines yellow green on the tree lines below. We unload the gear, touch hands and shoulders, put away ball bags and coolers. Parents roll in, headlights on shiny pavement. Backpacks and kids flop into backseats. I get in my car and drive home.

I go looking for a thing to feel better, comfort, some solace. Enter Theodore Roosevelt. To paraphrase… It is not the critic who counts; not the one who points out how the strong person stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…

It’s not about winning. It’s not about losing. It’s about showing up, doing the work, getting thrown down, getting up, and playing through.