Last night at the BC Lion’s game I had the privilege of seeing Geroy Simon break the CFL’s all time receiving record. Which means, he’s run and caught the ball a lot. A really lot.
It was a great night. As he came closer and closer to breaking the record, the excitement grew with each pass that headed his way. And, when he caught the one that broke the record, the place went nuts. Cheering and clapping, everyone on their feet, fireworks, media scrum, a presentation, t-shirts for sale. You name it.
So, as I sat there trying to understand the speeches over the loud-speaker in BC Place (yeah, gave up on that) and pondering if I wanted to buy a t-shirt (probably not) I got to considering such an achievement.
Two things stand out. One – Geroy was cut from a lot of teams before he found his groove with the Lions in 2001. So, there is an obvious lesson there about not giving up in the face of rejection. Got it. It’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get back up.
But second, in achieving his “fireworks” moment, Geroy had to show up for the last 10 years and play consistently every single game. He had to run and catch the ball, over and over again, regardless of the playing conditions, whether the team was winning or losing, through aching muscles and whatever personal shit he was going on in his life. In the past 10 seasons, he’s missed only 3 games due to injuries.
So here’s where it gets personal. I think that sometimes I am a “fireworks” person. I dream of the moment of success – running effortlessly up hill, wearing a size 6 dress, winning “employee of the year”, paying all my bills with money leftover for savings, eaten my low carb lots of veggies food every day, having a “plus one” for every wedding. You know, accolades that validate me as perfect.
Which seems to me a good path to take if you want to drop the ball but clearly not if you want to catch it and run with it. In fact, trying to be perfect seems to me to be like expecting to score by running into the end zone without even looking at the ball, never mind catching it. Kind of missing the point(s).
But when I have the kind of consistency and effort that Geroy has at MY game; when I show up every day and do my work including morning meditation, evening journalling, apologizing when I make mistakes, practicing authenticity, allowing myself to be vulnerable and looking after my side of the street (um, and ONLY my side) then I get my “fireworks” moments.
Fireworks moments like being happy with who I am. Having rich and connected relationships with wonderful friends and my family. Going to a job where my work is meaningful. Financial security. A safe home. Recovery from my food addiction. Acceptance of my imperfect self.
Fireworks, indeed. Think I should sell t-shirts?