The signs and experiences have been there my whole life. Not in the boldest ways, but in ways that are unique to me…always there to teach me something. Sometimes I call myself a late bloomer because I reframed the phrase, slow learner. More often these days, I realize that I process life on a deep level and it takes me time. As I get older, I see that as a gift that helps me stay curious and learn about myself and other people and what makes us all tick, and I love writing about it. One of my cool conversations on the beach in the last few weeks with an engineer turned coach explained it as “root cause”, I’m always looking for the why behind the story.
Lately, scenes from my own story flash through my mind that I haven’t thought of in years. 1988, Kochi City, Japan, Friendship Games…my first ever international travel experience and it was to Japan to play volleyball. Traveling with a team at 14 without parents opened my timid eyes to the world and was the best experience. Randomly at the end of that trip, our team ran into Karch Kiraly at the Tokyo airport and as we all recognized him and went a little teenage girl crazy, he was gracious enough to stop and sign our tournament t-shirts and take pictures. I hadn’t thought of this story in years until I watched the beautiful play of Miki Ishi and Megumi Murakami on Thursday at 8th St. in Hermosa Beach. With all the turmoil in the world this past year, sports have been one of our greatest sources of unity.
I have always loved volleyball. I learned how much with every set back. A dive on the floor that tore my thumb ligament my senior year of high school and made me miss the whole season, my rubbery ankles that couldn’t take someone coming under the net and ended my walk on run at Cal Poly. There aren’t any championships marking my path, but each of these set backs taught me more about how much I love to play and how to take care of myself so I am able to impart these lessons to my life’s greatest work…Lauren, Luke, Kate, Matthew…as they learn to travel their own paths.
Since these early volleyball days, the challenges have run deeper. Healing from broken relationships, and near death parenting experiences have only deepened my perspective on the game of life, and the things I learned through sports have helped define my own comeback story. One thing is for certain, life will deliver adversity to our doorstep, and we have to figure out how we will respond. This week I’ve been thinking about the integral parts of what makes our comeback stories great and sets us on the unbeatable path of greater self awareness.
I was inspired to write about the comeback this week because of the struggles that I have watched my oldest two go through in this wild year we have all endured. Trust the process, surrender to what is, and believe that the path with presents itself. Let’s go @savestanfordmvb, we’ve got momentum, keep battling. @Lauren.turner21, couldn’t be more proud of your grind and incredible sense of self-awareness. Sometimes the fight doesn’t look like you thought it would, but if we follow our instincts and keep training our minds, bodies, and spirits, the comeback is always greater than the setback.
With love & optimism,
Inspired by life and music - the choice this week.
Photo credit: @matts.photography_