In April of 2017 my daughter was playing in the semi-finals to win a national championship for hockey in Michigan. The team was tired, a short bench, and younger kids playing up in age group. The survived the round robin, and won a quarterfinal game. In the round robin game 2 we find ourselves down by 1, and managed to strike back. In game 3 we were down 2, scored one late in the second, tied in the third, and won in over time. But What does this have to do with Bruce Lee, we will get to that later.
Which leads us to the semi-final game. Before the game, the coach was told that due to our record in the round robin, we had secured a bronze medal already (if we lost.) In the semi-final game we found ourselves down by 2, how we got there is not material. We had come back from down 2 before, so it should not have been the end. But in between the 2nd and 3rd period during the ice cut, one of the players announced we were going to lose the game. This was from one of the girls who was looked to as a leader. Needless to say, other than 1-2 girls we came out flat and lost the game.
Once i heard the story I remember what Bruce Lee once said “Defeat is a state of mind; No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.” The game was not over, yet once there a player or two decided it was, there was no chance to win. And even in defeat to those who quit didn’t see any victory. For those who fought hard till the end, who left it all on the ice trying to win, celebrated the bronze and can look back on the success. For those who quit, will never look back and have that enjoyment, as it they will be reminded of what they could have tried to do.
My daughter was incredibly upset at losing, but more upset of those who quit, and others that serve to place blame. Within hours she realized how far the team came, and what a successful season it was, and no longer accepted it as a defeat, but a victory to how far they got. She turned to find a way to celebrate the season instead of harping on the loss. Even Kurt Warner said his biggest regret was after losing the Super Bowl with the Rams was not celebrating how far they had gone that year. Here is hoping the team gets together to celebrate what they achieved and will not be defeated.
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