Lately, it seems like I have nothing else to post on social media other than the accomplishments of my nephew Curtis Thompson. Curtis is a 20-year old rising junior at Mississippi State University whose accolades and accomplishments surpass his young age. Some of them include: Gatorade New Jersey State High School Player of the Year, 2x All-American, NCAA champion, Record Breaker at Olympic Trials, Silver medalist at Olympic Trials. So yes, I am proud. As the young kids say, “Hella proud.” But it’s more than pride that has me acting like a groupie. My nephew’s striving to be an Olympian has made me a better person. What the what?
About a month ago I went for a run. It was a particularly hot day and I was in the middle of a steep hill. I am not sure what the impetus was for me to make a pact with the universe, but that is exactly what I did. I said aloud, “Universe, I will stop [x] if Curtis makes The Team.” Now I am a rational human being (I don’t want to hear the grumblings that I am not), and I know that my actions and Curtis’ throws are completely independent events (except if I step in front of him or hold the javelin when he is about to toss it). Despite my understanding the irrelevance, I was going to make sure that I did not put any negativity out in the world that would compromise his position.
There is something I do that I am not proud of. It’s not a big deal, and it doesn’t hurt anyone. It just shows my small mindedness. I’d like to think I am bigger than this action. And every time I fell off the wagon, I would berate myself for acting poorly. Having competed as an athlete in previous years, I understand determination, fortitude, and mental strength. Yet, in this one area, I was not strong, not consistently strong. Until now…
It doesn’t matter to me that I wasn’t strong enough to break my bad habit on my own. I have kept true to my promise to the Universe. And I expect the Universe will uphold its end of the deal as well. I just forgot to put a date on the pact and say, “The Team 2016.” I believe in my nephew, even more than I believed in myself. He will make the Team and it gives me great joy and pride to see how he handles himself when things go his way or not. Even though I am twice his age, his character is a good lesson for me. Here are the things that I take away from Curtis’ journey and my ramblings with the Universe:
- You never know who you are inspiring.
- If you can’t get something done for yourself, do it in honor of someone else. That might be enough to get the job done.
- Focus on the positive. It’s so much more fun and rewarding.
- Dream big.