At Saturday’s soccer game, the district rival that Greg’s team will play next, girls all sat down next to me in the stands. The district championship will come down to this upcoming game and the girls made a few dissing comments about Greg’s team which obviously irritated me that they just assumed how good they are.
When I got home from that game, still irritated about what I heard, I began to ask myself why it irritated me so much. Greg’s team lost the game I had just come from and there had been a goal that had been pulled back which changed the outcome of the game. While Greg’s girls played well, something still ate at me and it took me a while to figure out what it was.
There have been many times in my life where people didn’t think I could accomplish something. While many more people in my life have been supportive, it’s hard not to focus on the ones who said I couldn’t– my ACT scores that predicted I would be an average collect student (a doctorate later who predicted that one I ask?), the sports journalism professor who laughed at me in front of the sports writing class when I said that I didn’t want to cover a team so much as I wanted to write stories about their motivations, and the continued rejections from a variety of things that I tried to do. Mix in the cross country coach my freshman year of high school who clearly stated I wouldn’t amount to much of a runner until I made varsity at the end of the season and proved him wrong.
That’s just it– if you tell me I can’t do it, I’ll work harder and I’ll get there. That was what annoyed me about seeing the team lose and then having to listen to the comments of the opposing team (and the called-back goal). In my world, I’d use that as fuel for the fire. While Greg’s girls didn’t know about the comments said about them, there clearly is a perception somewhere that I’d like to think isn’t true.
Inspiration and motivation are all around us. The question is if and how we choose to use it.