The basketball got loose from her hands and I launched my body (imagine full-on superman parallel to the ground) towards the ball.
She was significantly closer to it than I was, so when I landed, there was nothing left to do but wrap my arms around the ball she was already fumbling to grab, throw elbows and INSIST with my entire beingness that this ball was in fact, MINE.
The ref blew the whistle and it was our ball.
Inbounding the ball from near our basket, I passed it in and my teammate scored, tying the game.
At the same time, the buzzer went off, the first 4 quarters were over (which is end of the game unless you’re tied) and we went over to huddle with out coach.
We were playing the toughest team in our league, who was completely “out of our league.”
The last time we played them, we played on their home court and we lost, by 2 points.
Immediately after that game, we walked into the locker room with our coach for a post-team meeting where he took out his white board marker, wrote
F E A R on the mirror, pointed to it and said THAT IS WHY YOU LOST. Not because they’re better than you, but because YOU.PLAYED.SCARED.
He threw the marker across the room and walked out.
Normally, he was the kind of coach to call time outs to make us laugh bc we took ourselves too seriously.
But not today. Not today because he had a life long lesson to teach us – if we were paying attention.
And I was. And it hit me. Hard.
In that moment, I VOWED to NEVER let fear own me again. (Not to never be afraid, but to never, ever let it win.)
So, here we were, tied at the end of the game with home court advantage in a huddle.
Our coach says, “Ladies, smile. Now, go out there and WIN.”
We got back on the court and every single fiber of my being – we’re talking every cell from my head to toes – and probably the entire electromagnetic field around my body, knew we were going to win.
Never, ever, again was I going to lose to this team. And CERTAINLY not because I played AFRAID.
A few more minutes went up on the score board and it was Game.On.
We played like we’d NEVER played before.
Every move was on point, and EVERYTHING we had left in us was being left on that gym floor.
Overtime was down to 5 seconds left and we were tied again when they passed the ball out of bounds under our basket.
I went to the line, called a play, inbounded the ball and one of my teammates shot a hook shot, AND SHE MADE IT.
The buzzer rang, and WE WON.
You guys, we were freshman girls.
And, it was a HOOK SHOT.
There’s almost no chance of that happening… but it did… because WE DECIDED.
And we SHOWED UP …
…and we PLAYED.
Scared or NOT, we didn’t show it.
Scared or NOT, we PLAYED ALL OUT and we beat the best team in the league.
Knowing we would win that day was the first time in my life I remember feeling 100% ABSOLUTE about something with every fiber of my being.
So now, I ask you…
WHERE ARE YOU PLAYING AFRAID IN LIFE right now?
Where are you NOT showing up and playing ALL IN?
Where are you deciding to let FEAR cause you to take your foot off the gas?
Are you willing to TRUST your inner knowing?
RIGHT NOW is the time to give yourself permission to be SURE.
If you’re sure, you’re sure. There’s NO need to question anything. We’re taught to “question everything,” but that needs to be reserved for other people’s opinions and semi-made up “facts” about life… NOT YOURSELF.
Tonight, make a new commitment.
Life gets EASY when you MAKE a decision you’ve been needing to make and you PLAY ALL IN (scared or not).
The world really needs ALL of you right now, lit up fully, LIKE NEVER BEFORE.