I can’t stop watching the highlight clip from this moment in the Pacers game last week. Joseph stole the ball, ran down for a layup, and got fouled in the process, knocking him to the ground. His teammates ran down the court to help him up off the floor. Joe Young came off the bench to help. Hell, Lance Stephenson damn near knocked Sabonis over to try to get to Joseph first.
(If you watch the video, it’s a lot better than my description. I would love to have shared that with you here, but it requires a level of technical expertise that I don’t yet have.)
This team is on fire. They are having fun. They are lifting one another up. They are making ridiculously awesome plays and they are winning. A lot.
This is what I love about this team.
Because this is what I love about my team.
My squad. My tribe. My people. My people lift me up. My people claim me as their teammate. My people will get up at 3am to chaperone my Blue Ridge training run even though they don’t need to train at that time of day (night?). And it’s really probably the last thing they want to do. Except that they also kind of do, because my people love to do the hard things. My people will say, “Oh. You want to do that impossible thing? Ok. Where do we sign up?” or “I mean, I may not be on that level of crazy, but how can I help?”
My people believe in me. They value my strengths and compliment my weaknesses.
This is what I want for my Heart & Sole girls. I want them to learn how freakin phenomenal it feels to be surrounded by women that believe in you. Lift you. Empower you. Celebrate you.
To be surrounded by a tribe so strong that they create this kind of force field around you where the doubts and negativity and drama of others can’t fully reach you. And when it does and you get knocked down a little bit, they lift you right back up, dust the dirt off you, and insist that you keep going.
This is what I want for my girls.
But many of us have so many people in our lives telling us that we can’t. That we shouldn’t. That we must exercise caution and be “sensible” about our goals.
Here is my thought on that.
Or, if you’re being particularly ridiculous, I might even respond this way.
Because here’s what I know about girls. Most of them have crazy ridiculous awesome dreams about all of the things they can do when they grow up. Until they continually see and hear all of the reasons why they shouldn’t. Or can’t. Until they watch the women around them shut down one another’s dreams or allow their dreams to be shut down or even worse, shut their own dreams down. Until the negativity that surrounds them starts to choke out any signs of the positivity. And the next thing you know, you’ve given up on your dreams and you can’t even remember what they were.
When you find the right people, you will learn that you absolutely can. And I think you begin to find those people by becoming one of those people.
Maybe start by reclaiming your goals. Embracing your fear. Letting go of all of the judgements. (Sadly, they’re not going anywhere. But you can learn to let them fuel you.)
Or if that seems too impossible, then support someone else in reclaiming their goals. Tell them they can. Remind them of their power. Be their teammate.
I think that makes it easier. And then one day, you look around, and you realize that you’ve built up this pretty kickass tribe of people and the positivity has started to outweigh the negativity.
THIS is why Girls on the Run is so desperately important. We can shift the culture of our schools, our communities, and our entire nation by reframing the way girls engage with one another.
Be part of the reason why someone believes in themselves. Be part of the reason why a young girl holds onto her dream.
These people that constantly tell me I can are THE reason I will not only get through the Blue Ridge Double. They are the reason I am going to kill it.
And then I’m gonna walk away like this.