One Shining Moment

We all have (at least) "One Shining Moment"

I decided to work out early on Monday so I could go home right after work.  My family and I had carpooled, so I couldn’t have gone to the gym later anyway. I had to pick them all up and get my butt home.  The NCAA National Championship game, a matchup of dog mascots (UConn’s Huskies and the Butler University Bulldogs), was on soon and I wanted to make sure I watched at least part of it.  This had been one of the craziest postseason’s the country had seen in a while.  Upsets and nail-biters had been the norm throughout, culminating in the first Final Four that had no number one or number two seeds.  (It was also only the third time no number one seeds had made the Final Four.)

In case you can’t tell, I love sports!  The competition.  The teamwork.  The hard work and determination.  Underdogs given no chance to win.  And dynasties with targets on their back as everyone tries to knock them off their throne.  All of it.  I love all of it.

So my wife was surprised, I’m sure, when I offered to clean the backyard during the game.  Now, before you check the box next to my name and send in your “Husband of the Year” ballot, I have one disclaimer:  I can see our big Hi-Def television from our backyard.  Nevertheless, I was a little proud of myself, having come home from a hard day’s work (“hard” is relative, mind you), only to change clothes and go hose off the backyard porch, which my two –uh, what’s the right word– “creative” kids had completely destroyed over the weekend.

But there was a catch, my wife soon learned.  I told her we had to make sure we recorded the post-game show.  “Why?” you ask.  That’s exactly what she said!  Well, the answer is simple.  It’s because every year, after the final buzzer sounds on the Championship Game and the post-game interviews and analysis are complete, CBS Sports shows a short video, highlighting the just-finished tournament.  They call it “One Shining Moment,” named after the song that accompanies this wonderful tribute.  David Barrett wrote it specifically for the NCAA Tournament, meant to be played over a montage of footage from what many would call American Sport’s most captivating three weeks.  And it’s my absolute favorite part of the tournament.

Now, if you google “One Shining Moment NCAA Tournament” you are likely to find many comments and opinions, both positive and negative.  The list of those who see this video message as corny is not a short one.  But I’ll argue those people are missing out on what I think the song encapsulates.

Maybe it’s the athlete in me that can relate.  Every athlete has had that one moment when he felt like he was on top of the world.  When time stood still and it was just her and the ball.  It may have been in little league.  It may have been in a college championship game.  It could’ve happened dozens of times and for long, extended stretches in seasons or games.  Or it may have been just once and for one at-bat or one shot.  But every athlete’s felt that.

Every athlete has also faced the other side of that coin- failure and disappointment.  What the video shows us, what it reveals to all of us, is that moments are fleeting.  They often pass through our fingertips before we even realize it, whether it’s 20 minutes, or 20 days.  It always comes to an end.  And the crushing feeling that the end brings is undeniably human.  That’s what you see in the video.  That’s what you see on the faces of the players, fans, coaches, and parents.  The fine line between exhilaration and heartache, between youthful exuberance and unadulterated sadness.

But although I’m initially drawn in to this fascinating three minutes as an athlete and sports junkie; Bobby the parent, husband, professional, and friend can’t help but see the parallels everywhere in my life.  I compete every day at work.  My son will face disappointment one day.  My daughter, too.  I will feel unbelievable pride for my wife and sister hundreds of more times before I die.  My brother will need me as a life teammate forever, and I will do my best not to let him down.  And although my mom is gone from this physical world, the little kid in me still wants to make both her and my father proud, to have them witness as many of my shining moments as possible.

I watched that video about 10 times.  I even watched the 2010 version (Luther Vandross, Jennifer Hudson), which I’d recorded, several times.  And each time my emotions went from pride, to drive and encouragement, to sadness, to fear and worry, and back to excitement.  Every time I watched it.

There is a point to this, trust me.  Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), a study focused on the power of messages we give to our brain, talks about anchors and triggers- items (sounds, smells, images) that profoundly affect our emotional, spiritual, and even physical states.  In my case, the sounds and images from the tournament bring out emotions that strengthen me.  Most importantly, this highlight reel exposes the two dimensions, Emotional and Spiritual, which receive the least focus.  Not only for me, but I’d argue for most men.  But it’s an amazing thing to allow those elements to receive the  attention needed to flourish.  Like a table with four legs, all are important (the other two being Physical and Mental).  And I firmly believe that, while not commonly viewed as such, an openness to developing along all dimensions, including spiritual and emotional, makes for a stronger–not weaker–man.  When I see how hard the players competed for the trophy, it inspires me.  When my son and I watch it together, he can see and begin to appreciate the sacrifice on the face of every player.  When I see the emotions on the faces of the seniors (and their parents), undoubtedly realizing they may be playing competitive basketball for the last time, it reminds me how fast these moments go by.  And I immediately want to capture this “One Shining Moment” with my family.  And what the heck can be wrong with that?”

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About bbluford
I am an executive finance professional with a love for process and application development (MS Access, Excel, Quickbooks), mostly as it relates to Accounting and Business Functions. I also love to write and share ideas with other people in this world. I'm an admitted Gym Rat who works out excessively. The best summation of me is that I love to teach and to learn.

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