Mar 13, 2022

Happy Fire Friday, 🔥

Throughout my playing career and my professional career... I've never been anyone's first pick.

I was always shorter.
Not as athletic.
Not a good enough communicator.
Didn't play at a high enough level.
Had the wrong attitude.
Didn't fit the mold.

Because of these experiences, I tend to walk around with a chip on my shoulder that is so apparent it can make people uncomfortable. 

But starting at a very young age, from the very moment that I realized I was being doubted it meant only one thing...

I'm about to get a whole lot better. 

When I was a little girl, we had Olympic Day at my elementary school and we had three weeks to practice our "events". 

One of these events was a Hanging Desk contest. The rules were, we had to place each of our hands on a couple of desks and suspend ourselves in the air--all while our legs were constantly in a running motion. The one who lasted the longest wins.

Practice Day 1 was the only time we got to compete against the other classes (instead of our own) before the actual Olympic Day. So, my teacher asked us to vote on three people who we wanted to represent the class during this practice contest... and the one with the most votes would compete that day. The results went like this:

1) Derek
2) BriAnna
3) Kaden 

I was uber-competitive and appalled.

But he was a boy and he was bigger. So everyone figured he'd be the right guy. By a stroke of luck (or perhaps the universe), right before we were scheduled to compete, Derek's big brother came back from the Army and scooped him out of school. I was gonna get my chance.

The other teacher's class came in.

I was up against a boy named Cody.

We assumed our positions...

and I lost... terribly.

In fact, I didn't even last for 30 seconds. 

I wasn't strong enough. 

And to add insult to injury, Cody came at me with this shit-eating grin while he kept himself suspended for another 40 seconds--long past anyone in either class. 

I went home that day with a mission.

It was coming from whatever place a child's absurd self-belief comes from...

but I knew that I could beat him. 

For the next 19 days straight... my parents could not keep my feet on the floor.

At home between the island and the countertop, at Dairy Queen between the railings at the register, at my Gagi's house on the backyard deck, and every Monday - Friday morning on my own desk... I worked my little butt off. I had it in my head. There was nothing stopping me.

The big day came.

As I suspected, it turned out to be me vs. Cody for the sacred Hanging Desk Championship.

I'll get straight to the point.

The timer starts...

10 seconds go by. 20... 30... 45 seconds, and I AM LOCKED IN. I'm staring Cody right in the eyes.

60 seconds. We both start to shake.

75 seconds, Cody starts to make an ugly face.

And at 91.3 seconds, my life changed forever.

Cody dropped his feet to the floor, bent over and out of breath.

And this was the first, but not the last time in my life that I realized... I needed to be picked second.

I needed to lose.

If I would've been picked first or beat Cody the first time, there's no way I would've been so motivated to prove both to myself and to my classmates that I could do it.

The work was inspired by being the second pick. By experiencing the loss. 

We often feel like we're lesser when we're not the first choice or when we don't win the first time... but that's not true at all.

Sometimes our circumstances haven't aligned in the same way.

Sometimes the person who gets the best of you or gets picked over you the first time will have had an advantage--one that they have likely worked hard for too.

But your worth is not measured by where you are now. It is measured by where you believe you will be, and how hard you are willing to work to get there.

When you're a kid, nothing is more important than what you set your mind to. Nothing can stop you. No one can tell you otherwise.

I wonder at what point in our lives do we lose this frame of thinking?

For those of you who get picked second... I hear you. I feel you. Your work doesn't go unnoticed. Keep going. 

And I want to leave you with a piece of truth:

You will likely get picked second again throughout your life's journey.

And you know what that means?

You're about to get a whole lot better.

Know your worth.

Work hard. 

And welcome to the offseason.

I'll see you next Friday. 🔥

Shooters Shoot.