Last week I decided to take a walk into town during lunch. In the metropolis in which I work, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, the walk into town does not conjure up images of skyscrapers. Rather, one can picture a babbling brook making its way through the heart of town, which is adjacent to a park with some benches. The lunchtime break was meant to get away for a few minutes, clear the mind, and do some reading.
As I sat down to read, I noticed there was a “buzz” all over town for several reasons. In our neck of the woods, like most parts of the country, we never experienced the typical Pennsylvania winter and spring has been with us for several weeks now ahead of the official calendar start of March 20th (yesterday). People are out and about instead of hunkering down for the last bastion of cold weather. Birds were chirping, flowers poked up from their hideaways in the ground as if to say “I’m here!”, and a cool breeze was gently blowing.
There was an invasion of sorts as well. Lots of young people were making their way up and down the streets of the business district seeking whatever the local restaurants were offering. The Pennsylvania High School Swimming Championships were being held at Bucknell University for the week. Many young, aspiring champions from all over the state laced this community for a brief time which took the prevailing rhythm being played up an octave or two. It was a nice change of pace and one could imagine “I AM A WINNER” swirling around in each of their hearts and minds as they set out to accomplish some immediate dreams related to their sport.
Lastly, the Bucknell Men’s basketball team, which narrowly missed out on a bid to the “Big Dance” (aka, the NCAA Tournament) the week before, beat a highly ranked Arizona squad the night before to advance to the next round of the National Invitational Tournament. Signs of support and an overall feeling of “we’re on the map” seemed to enhance the demeanor of our humble, Central PA town. Again, a sense of winning crept its way into the subconscious of the community. It was very refreshing.
It got me thinking about what it might take to transform a “has been” or “loser” into a winner. Certainly, the thinking process has much to do with it. We are the sum total of our thoughts, which are things.
There is a great scene in the final installment of the Rocky movies, Rocky 6. Rocky is contemplating a comeback against a much younger champion. Rocky is “over the hill” and his best days are supposedly behind him. He befriends a young woman and gives her a ride home one evening. While sitting in the van talking about his thoughts of returning to the ring, she encourages him along the path of his decision and she invites him to ponder a question, “Fighter’s fight, isn’t that what fighter’s do?” She helps him recognize who he is at the core.
How often has the man in the ring rung your bell? Are you up against it, whatever “It” is? What has you spinning out of control? Perhaps it is time for you to draw the line in the proverbial sand, declare “enough is enough”, and take some steps toward creating a different image of yourself and begin your travel on the road of winning. Open your mouth, and audibly say something, anything that will swing your pendulum to the “other side”!
There is another great scene in this movie where Rocky is attempting to allay the fears that his son has of him fighting again. Rocky states, “The world is a mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees if you let it. It is not how many times you get hit that is important, but how many times you get hit and get back up!”
You have been and will continue to be hit, undoubtedly. It is a given. The question remains, “how many times when you are hit, will you get back up?” I hope and pray that your answer is “each and every time!”
Isn’t that what winners do?