Monday, September 30, 2013

Footblog #7: We Need a Bye!

Mmmm. Bon-bons.
I remember when I was first really getting into football, I was annoyed at having a bye week. I mean, I wanted to watch football! Let's DO this! Why are you guys just sitting on your butts eating pizza and bon-bons while I'm riveted to my television waiting for you to delight me with another win? (Really? Bon-bons? I'm not sure why that's even my go-to phrase for relaxation. I can't remember the last time I saw a bon-bon.)

I started to understand the concept a bit better when I stopped whining and really thought about it. When you're going non-stop week after week, pressures high, practices rough, exhaustion rampant, you're bound to lose sight of the goal. Though I'm sure they get at least a minimal amount of much-deserved relaxation in the two weeks between play, much of what they're doing besides practicing is re-assessment.

At some points in our lives (many points, in fact) it's extremely important to stop what we're doing, take a good look at it from an outsider's point of view, and figure out what's next. Are we happy where we're at? Are there things we need to work on? Are there things that we're completely failing at that we need to change? Is there a perspective that we're missing? Is there some strategy that we should be employing that we have not yet tried? Is there a weakness we're allowing to hinder us? Is there a hidden strength we have not yet tapped? Mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually we need to be re-assessing our approach.

What good can we be to ourselves or to others if we never give ourselves the opportunity to grow? How can we thrive in life if we have not yet attempted to figure out our purpose or to take steps toward fulfilling that purpose? None of us are useless, you know. Sure, we might not be the quarterback, but what good is a football team that just has a quarterback? (Contrary to popular belief, Denard Robinson was not the entire Michigan team over the last few years, but his presence did prove what happens when one person is relied on too much.) A good team needs all of its players, even the ones on the bench. Everybody plays a part, an integral part, to the team and, more importantly, to the purpose of the team. If you think that just because you have been sitting on the bench for two decades you're not important, you are sorely mistaken. Get up, my friend, and get in the game. You're here for a reason.

"Yeah," you say, "but how am I supposed to figure out what my purpose is?" Well, that's simple. Take a bye week. I don't mean drop out of all your obligations, I know none of us has that luxury. I'm talking about doing a re-assessment of every aspect of your life.  In what areas are you stagnant? In what areas are you growing? In what areas are you thriving? In what areas are you failing? Once you assess your situation, set goals. Figure out what things you want to change and begin taking steps to change them immediately. It doesn't have to be a complete 180 by the end of the week, but you can certainly take one small step in the right direction, can't you? Each day this week, take some time out to establish some new patterns, change some things that just aren't working in your life, and by next week you'll already feel a sense of renewal that you wouldn't believe.

Above all, pray for guidance. No member of the team can truly thrive without direction from their coach, and when we're all listening to the Coach, our lives become a well-oiled machine. No, it doesn't mean we'll completely avoid failure -- sometimes we need failure to learn our next step in life. But it does mean that we'll have encouragement, camaraderie, and faith along the way.

With a little rest, some re-assessment, a new outlook, and some brand new goals, you'll be surprised at what the rest of the season has in store.

Stephanie Jean

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