Thursday, December 09, 2010

Reflections on a Championship Season

It's been a couple of days since my Monday night basketball team won the league championship.  I've gotten a chance to reflect on a couple of things which is noted in the two quotes below:

"The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination."

If you asked San Francisco Giants fans what they remembered most from the 2010 season, most fans would probably say that winning the championship was their most vivid memory.   However, there will be fans will remember each moment on the journey that got the Giants to the 2010 World Series Championship:
  1. Winning the NL West on the last day of the regular season. 
  2. Brooks Conrad's three errors helping the Giants to win Game 3 of the NLDS and eventually the series
  3. Juan Uribe's home run in Game 6 of the NLCS that gave the Giants the win. 
  4. Edgar Renteria's home run that proved to the game winner in Game 5 of the World Series. 
For my Monday night basketball team, here are some of my favorite moments from the Fall 2010 basketball season:
  1. Game #1 vs. Orange (09/20/10) - Our team's captain was out sick.  I took over the reins and promptly watched our team fall behind 18-2 early to the Orange team.   We were forced to switch up defenses and rallied our way back to an impressive victory. 
  2. Game #6 vs. Black (11/01/10) -  This was our second game against the Black team.  In our first meeting on 09/27/10, Black had taken advantage of the fact that our team hadn't quite jelled yet and beat us.  This time around, we were better prepared and hung tough against Black in the first half.  In the second half, our team went on a shooting spree that completely put the game out of reach.   It was a performance that had to be seen to be believed. 
  3. Playoff Game #1 vs. White (11/29/10) - Our team had beaten White twice previously.  The first time White had four players.  The second time White had five players.  In the playoff game, White actually had seven players so there would be no more excuses.   Both teams played hard but White held a small lead at halftime.  Our team came out a little slow in the second half and White promptly took a 10 point lead.  However, our team responded to the challenge.  Our defense picked up and the offense followed suit as we rallied to win by 11.  
The final destination of winning the championship was great.  But for me personally, the journey was much more fun that just winning the championship.  The chemistry, relationships and memories we built during the season mean more and will last longer than the actual win in the years to come.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven"

This particular quote from the Bible has been one of my favorites for many years.  One of my old high school friends had suggested the quote might fit my personality.  In many ways, I think she was right.

There are many times in our lives that we "want" certain things.  It might be a girlfriend, house, car, job or even a basketball championship.   I have admittedly wanted to win a championship in this particular basketball league for years.   I have to say that I wanted to win for the actual experience itself and not for pride or competitive reasons.  As I mentioned before, I'm the type of guy who likes to get the most out of everything I do.

In a funny way, the timing for my team to win this year was perfect.   In my previous three championship appearances for this league, I was very focused on "winning" but not enjoying the experience.  This past Monday, I played hard but also enjoyed the experience of "just being in the game".  I enjoyed being on the court, on the bench and the camaraderie our team had.

This is not to say that winning the championship wasn't enjoyable.  However, the destination of winning the championship would not have been possible with the journey my teammates and I all took for the past few months.

The final destination was good, the journey was even better and I think the timing for everything was about as perfect as it could have gotten.  For all of this, I give thanks.

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