I woke up this Sunday morning excited about the day and relishing in the past night. While attending the Stardome Comedy Club’s hilarious show featuring comedian Gary Owen with my sister and college roommate I had the opportunity to snap a photo with the University of Alabama’s Quarterback Blake Sims. It was his birthday. He must have been out celebrating. The picture is PERFECT. That’s the best word I can use to describe it. Don’t believe me? Just look.
For those of you in another country or like I used to be, unfamiliar with football, Blake had just come off of a crushing defeat in the College Playoff’s Sugar Bowl on January 1, 2015. Prior to (and yes, still following) that he was a leader on the field, heralded for his ability to endure under pressure, rise against the odds, lead his team humbly and with much respect from other players and win games which were the topic of many a break room or water cooler conversation the next day. Then January 1, 2015 happened. On top of that defeat on the field was the social media tomfoolery (also known as plain ol’ ignorance) of some fair-weather fans and haters, as we say in America, some of which have probably never stepped foot at the Capstone, (and many of whom likely don’t even know what Capstone is). Anywho, there have been all sorts of sad commentaries about his performance in that game, threats, and other ill-mannered expressions which have seemed to plague our society now more than ever. And still, this young man/student/father/athlete/inspiration/leader braved the crowd of comedy show goers to celebrate his life, pose for pictures, smile with that adorably perfect, and evenly balanced grin, and show the character of a true leader who knows how to do as Pac says, “keep yo head up”.
I woke this morning even more proud of Blake Sims than I was when I first saw him at A-Day in April of 2014 and wasn’t quite sure he was going to fit the bill then watched him blossom. I was certainly even more proud at the end of our last game and great season of transition and perseverance, despite of our season-ending loss. I felt like his life on the field represented the life of so many I know and me. To sum it up. “Stuff” happens. So what are you/we going to do when it does? Seeing him last night reminded me that it’s not about what happens. It’s how you respond to what happens that matters. I woke wondering how I would be if I were in that spotlight and had to live through the jovial celebrations in times of victory and the mean, mean jeers in times of defeat. I wondered if I would have been at home in bed sulking because of a loss, and worrying about what people would say when they saw me, or would I do what he did, which was come out looking fresh to death (Google it, Homie…LOL!) in my lumberjack attire, eat some wings, drink something refreshing, share laughs with my friends, and keep my head up.
Having been up, and down more times than I care to recall in life, albeit, nowhere near the status of Blake Sims, I am inspired today to take a note from Tupac’s songbook and Blake Sims’ playbook and keep my head up. #headsup