There’s that moment that stands out as the defining moment in your life – where that one decision completely shapes the outcome of everything that’s to follow. I can remember it still as if it was yesterday. We are in grade school … During our lunch hour we would go gobble down our sandwiches and run to the school yard where we would partake in some seriously competitive games of dodgeball. There were two teams: the “good team” filled with the athletic popular kids and the “bad team” and although no one came right out and said so much, we knew it was true. I was on the good team. Not for my amazing athleticism, but, because – well – You know in the movies when each team captain picks one by one ad there is always that last kid that neither team wants? Well yea, that kid was me … And the cool team somehow ended up with me.
But like I said, we all took this super seriously. To our adolescent minds lunch time dodgeball was epic. We had rules and judges and it was all very formally put together … We did it all by ourselves. So because each team was so large, we would have shifts … We were supposed to rotate so that everyone got to play. I never did. I was sidelined every day, every game. I would just watch.
Most of my friends were on the other team. And one day I just got tired of feeling like a loser. I asked to be traded (yes, traded – I told you we took this all very seriously). The “good” team thought I was crazy – why would anyone want to be traded off their team? It was the other way around usually. But nonetheless, this was an easy trade for both parties and there it was, I was on the underdog team, where I belonged.
My first game they put me in. They let me play. Like I said, I did not have any great athleticism or dodgeball skills, but they let me play.
We were getting creamed. I mean, it was brutal … Everyone was out … I was the sole player on my team still in the game (solely because I had done an amazing job at running from the ball LOL). So there I was, all alone … there was no more running from the ball – I was the only target – and, of course, they send in their best to “take me out” and win the game. So he throws the ball … and it is flying at me. I don’t even know how, or why, or how (yes, I said that already, but seriously - how?!) … I caught the ball! I CAUGHT the ball! The kid legit did a double-take, the look on his face was priceless … actually all of my classmates stood there frozen in shock for a minute or two. And then chaos erupted – half of my team came running back into play (he had gotten all of them out, when I caught the ball they were instantly back in the game). Cheers and high fives were abundant for me.
To be honest? I don’t remember if we won the game or not. We probably loss, but that’s ok, because that was my defining moment. Choosing to switch to the “bad” team shaped the course of my life. Although I am very blessed, I have been given the short end of the stick on a lot of things in my life. But I’ve always followed my own path. I won’t settle for something that doesn’t feel right. I tend to do things my own way, which often leads me to the road less traveled. I stumble and fall and have setbacks and heartache, And that’s ok. Because it’s my path, my road, my journey … MY LIFE.
Never count out the underdog, they just may surprise you!