Wow, it’s been almost a month since I last posted here. Sheesh.
I’ve noticed a weird fact about myself lately that I’ve been trying to figure out. I have this strange compulsion to defend things I enjoy, particularly athletes.
Other than defending Tiger Woods’ incredible golf skills (and certainly NOT his personal life choices), I can’t think of anyone I’ve tried to defend (especially lately) more than LeBron.
So I took some time on the eve of LeBron winning his first NBA championship to try to figure out why I have this compulsion and where it comes from.
The short answer is, “I don’t know,” but Danielle tells me how much she LOATHES that answer, so let’s dig a bit further.
For most of my life, I’ve been a non boat rocker, if you will. I really don’t like conflict (even though it seems to come my way either here or on Facebook often), so I try to do whatever I can to go with the flow and not create problems.
By pure coincidence that started to change not terribly long before I met Danielle, and her influence has only helped it increase 🙂
Can I be honest? It’s incredibly emotionally tiring to put yourself out there for other people, as I’ve done on this blog and a couple others, and get mostly grief and aggravation back in return. I say “mostly”, because I’ve also received positive feedback, but the bad always tends to outshine (or is it “outdark”?) the good, as they say.
In the past 3 years, we’ve dealt with a lot. No, that’s not me being a whiny baby. That’s just the simple truth of the matter. Ever feel like life is conspiring against you? Well the majority of the past 3 years have felt that way for me. Again, I say “majority”, because there have been some amazing high points, and we’ve met some incredibly people, but there have been some LOW points as well. Very low.
I started on the “LeBron bandwagon”, if you will, right before he went pro. It was pretty obvious that he was a special talent, and it felt a lot like when I started following Tiger Woods right before he went pro in 1996. I’ve been a LeBron fan ever since. Was The Decision a bad decision? Yes. I don’t fault him for leaving Cleveland, but it could have been handled much better. Here’s the thing most people miss though. That special, even if you disagree with the lack of taste, etc., raised $2.5 MILLION dollars for that local Boys and Girls club. $2.5 MILLION. That’s nothing to sneeze at.
You can also fault the Heat for holding a glorified pep rally once Bosh and James landed in Miami where LeBron said he was looking forward to winning, “Not 1, not 2, not 3….” championships. Fine.
Do you know how old LeBron was when these two “offenses” took place? 25. Did you ever do anything stupid when you were 25? The answer is most likely, “yes.” You just had the fortune of not having your stupid choices broadcast around the globe and critiqued almost constantly for 2 years by, mostly, complete strangers. Wouldn’t that have been awesome? Yeah, I don’t think so.
I said all that to say, I feel a little bit like it’s been LeBron against the world the past couple years, and I’ve felt the same way over the past couple years. Sometimes it feels like no matter how much you give, how much good you do, etc. etc. it’s never enough, and life seems to repay you with garbage for your good. It gets old, for sure.
LeBron took that criticism and failure from the past couple years, worked hard, added pieces to his game and won a championship.
That’s what’s exciting to me. He looked at what life was throwing his way and decided to make something good out of it. That’s the attitude I’ve been trying to have lately. Although, admittedly, I haven’t done that great job of it. I want to move past all the hurt, pain and frustration of the past 3 years into something better, and I can see myself getting there.
And in that small way, I identify, at least partially, with LeBron.