The toughest part about losing is the fact that it isn’t winning. Most people tie winning to being “successful” but success is a relative term. Some of the hardest lessons and greatest accomplishments come after a loss. This past week my LIT College team lost in the semi-finals for LYIT by an embarrassing score of 100-39. I went down with an ankle injury early in the 3rd quarter and was unable to go back into the game. All I could do was cheer my teammates on from the bench. It broke my heart. We were undefeated all season and to lose by so much was a reality check. You can’t win them all. Plus, I was injured. One of the ways I cope with a bad day or a bad game is to get up the next morning and go workout… but I couldn’t walk. So, I stayed in all weekend hoping that the rest would help.
Recently I’ve been watching Netflix sport documentaries. The majority of them follow football and basketball players in their quest to be champions. Some include stories about life altering mistakes and the grind to get back to the top while others cover how sport instils morally correct characteristics for inner city kids. There was a quote that really stuck with me from Coach Snoop: “One thing about life is you are going to lose more than you are going to win. But are you willing to get back up?” I instantly thought of our semi-final game and realised that I can’t let one bad game ruin my love for the game. We still have Varsities to look forward to in April, so my basketball career isn’t truly over just yet!
After all these years as an athlete, I’ve gone through my fair share of ups and downs. I’ve lost some heart breakers but persevered and won some incredible games. You have to lose in order to know how to win. Some of the most decorated athletes have gone through periods of time where they felt defeated and questioned if they were going to continue on. Perseverance is one of the many great characteristics that playing sport develops. You learn to never give up, no matter how bad the circumstance may seem. You play on, for the love of the game!
A couple bags of ice and a weekend of binge watching Netflix sport documentaries (and Friends) has me recharged and ready to get back out there. I only have a select number of games left in my basketball career, so I plan on making the best of them… even if I have a bum ankle. One day, I’ll look back on my time here and be proud of all the effort I put in during my last season. Losing basketball will be a huge transition for me. But reality is right around the corner. This game has built me into more than the athlete I am today. I taught me that there is no such thing as true defeat and that although life is tougher, I’m tougher.
It’s Just One Bad Day, Not A Bad Life