It’s hard to get juiced up about pro basketball in the middle of football season and the baseball playoffs but the season started on Wednesday night. While most of you don’t follow it, I’m sure our Maine colleagues are aware that their new star Gordon Hayward broke his leg in a gruesome manner, faces a long rehabilitation and will be out for the season. Your star going out in the first game of the season is a sad thing all around.
The internet was alive with basketball fans and followers wishing the best for Hayward. One well-wisher, Kobe Bryant, had his words go viral. This is what he wrote:
“Be sad. Be mad. Be frustrated. Scream. Cry. Sulk. When you wake up, you will think it was just a nightmare only to realize it’s all too real. You will be angry and wish for that day back, the game back THAT play back. But reality gives nothing back and nor should you.
Time to move on and focus on doing everything in your power to prepare for surgery, ask all the questions to be sure you understand the procedure fully so that you may visualize it in your subconscious while being operated on and better the chance of its success. Then focus on the recovery process day by day by day. It’s a long journey, but if you focus on the mini milestones along the way, you will find beauty in the struggle of doing simple things that before this injury was taken for granted. This will also mean that when you return you will have a new perspective. You will be so appreciative of being able to stand, walk, and run that you will train harder than you ever have. You see the belief within you grow with each mini-milestone, and you will come back a better player for it. Best of luck to you on this journey my brother #mambamentality always.”
In his Hall of Fame career, Kobe was known for his fierce competitive nature and his will to succeed. He suffered severe injury and recovered. He’s sharing his experience to a fellow competitor. His nickname was “Mamba,” which is a quick, striking venomous African snake known for its ferocity and lethal nature.
Breaking down his comments to Hayward, I see a recipe for resilience in the face of adversity:
- Expect to be mad and have regret. Wish it didn’t happen. But, only for a moment. “But reality gives nothing back and nor should you.”
- Move on to getting better. It’s a decided action. Don’t look back. Look ahead.
- Focus. On the details of getting better. On the rigor of rehabilitation. On achieving the milestones that mark your recovery.
- Develop a new, better perspective. Filled with appreciation. Reunited with joy. Better as a result of the trial.
In an enterprise such as ours, there are many struggles going on amongst us. People being treated for cancer. Children facing long medical battles. Families grieving the loss of loved ones. Business challenges. Financial challenges. You get my point. There are people doing the work while living through the hard things that come along in life.
Kobe Bryant’s advice resonated with me. I thought it might with you as well.