Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"The Art of San Antonio"

Out on the plains, the wind flows effortlessly through the tall wild grass…  One by one,  majestic gazelles appear to graze upon the luscious and tasty tundra… Gazelles are beautiful tall and fast creatures with amazing reaction and senses. Although they have incredible leaping  ability, agility, and strength, they are no match for a dark sleek cat that preys upon them for a carnal meal, the panther.  Downwind, slowly creeping up on the flowing field with stealth precision and patience, panthers strategically slither through the tall grass without a peep… Within a blink of an eye, before any gazelle can alarm the group and scatter,  the panther jumps up and claws it’s meal sinking its fangs into the gazelle’s jugular. Within a matter of moments the struggle is over and the panther prevails…

The gazelles by all means are quite majestic and absolutely breathtaking to watch prancing at highway speed limits across an open range, like an elite NBA athlete defying Newton’s law of gravity on a nightly basis flying in the air above a netted rim slamming a ball down with authority.  Many gazelles prance and shine every day on the NBA hard courts… They draw numerous fans and followings across the plains that blanket our land.  Within the same playing field lurks their nemesis, the sleek wild cats, like panthers, whom seem unamused or phased by any gazelles’ feat; for he knows all their moves… He knows all their habits… He’s observed all their escapes… The panther will sit back, watch, and wait for the perfect moment to execute denial of living to play another day. The large cats preserve their energy, strategize their attack, and cautiously move in to position to pounce on their prey… At the end of play time, it's no surprise when a panther prevails.

In professional sports as well as business arena, “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu has become the philosophy inherited of the truly dominant and successful teams and corporations. Think of some of the premier programs and persons… I have no doubt not only would they possess a copy of the incredible manuscript, they can quote the lessons. San Antonio Spurs are no exception. The players and coaches without hesitation execute various attributes and teachings divulged in the brief (yet eloquent) manuscript each time their sneakers touch the hardwood for 48 minutes of battle and war on the boards. “You do not have to win every ‘battle’ to win the war”… “Know your enemy, adapt to their way, then take their weaknesses and expose them…”  “It’s not always the greatest and mightiest of armies whom win, yet those with best position, defense, and work together whom will triumph…” “Do not lose focus on the ultimate goal, win the war”

San Antonio Spurs epitomize and lift the philosophy of Sun Tzu’s prose from the pages in to the arena.  Watching the Spurs play every game in the 2012 Western Conference playoffs has been nothing short (never boring) of an amazing orchestration of dominance and cruelty, as displayed by a panther encircling their prey.  There will be no surprise in my eyes if San Antonio once again stands atop a pile of Gazelles who've enjoyed immense time leaping and prancing upon the golden parkay floors...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I Can't is a Copout!

Tell me if this conversation sounds familiar, “I want that life.. I want that job, or I want to look like that… (and then the proverbial…) But I can’t… it will never happen… Not in this life time” Truth is, its not that you "can't", rather you won't or choose not to incorporate the time or dedication in to your schedule... The Life you create is based on decision and choices delegated by you… If you’re sitting on a couch wondering what happened, or staring at a reflection you don’t recognize, either enjoy the subpar situation, or DO something about it!

Think about the elite athletes who’ve achieved pinnacle success. There was a time in an athlete’s development where they had decisions and choices to make. Of course, many may have an entourage of influences pointing them in certain directions. What about that athlete that has been surrounded by poverty and crime? That individual that has nothing with only dirt, determination, and an internal voice whispering to them, “It’s gotta get better, it has to get better”? These athletes, like Patrick Willis had choices… Even with parents going to jail, displaying all the attributes we warn our children about… Even being raised out of a shanty shack-of-a-home and handed to foster parents, Patrick never lost touch with responsibility and an internal fortitude of becoming a giving, nurturing, and productive human being. Tim Robbins has an incredible piece highlighting a diversity of individuals experiencing the same spiraling circumstances, yet some of them overcame hardship, tackled challenging obstacles and prevailed. What was the difference between them? Some examples of such individuals are Michael Ohr, Jason Pierre-Paul, Johnny Unitas, and recent sensation Jeremy Lin. The likes of Johnny Unitas or Babe Didrikson did not possess the concept of “I can’t” in their vocabulary, regardless of circumstances. Each one of the pinnacle performers I’ve mentioned did not allow temporary situations dissuade their ambitions. Some of the iconic figures where statues were built in their honor began with humble humility of getting cut more than once on their way to greatness. Instead of throwing in the towel, quitting, or giving up, each one reflected on what steps they had to make in order to reach their goals, to succeed!

I’ve been ignoring my dream of writing and sports analysis for years… I’ve allowed fear suffocate my confidence, placing my mind in a black and white world. Eeyor and Negative Nellie have dogpiled on my optimism feeding me crazy ideas that I had to choose one path, and begrudgingly give up others. The passion I have in eloquently depicting near perfection in motion have been trapped in my cerebellum collecting cobwebs far too long! I’m selling myself short; I am underachieving… Luckily, the great success stories of Willis and Unitas are just a few mouse-clicks away, feeding me reminders of tenacity and determination. I choose “I can”… I will sweep off those dust bunnies dulling my ambition and refuse to give in to limitations. So what if I’m decades older than the average intern? I am not finished… I am not giving up!

If you have doubts or hesitations, and allowing them to change your path… Here’s a couple inspiring reminders: