Sports. Besides sheer excitement they possess a unique ability to transcend the human barriers of race, religion and geography. Sporting events are one of the few human creations that can pause time creating a showcase for the scope of the human spirit. The shooting guard hitting the winning buzzer beater empathizes with the wide receiver who catches a hail Mary pass with zero seconds left. Hours of practice and repetition flourish in one singular moment that can live in eternity. It is unparalleled in any other arena of the human endeavor. Athletes are bonded by perseverance, self discovery and the lessons they carry long after the play has stopped. Sports are an amazing metaphor for life.
On Tuesday Stephen Curry helped lead the Golden State Warriors to their first NBA Championship in forty years. His Cinderella story seems almost scripted: not coveted as a high school basketball player he is recruited by only one local college and eventually drafted to the NBA amidst skepticism of his ability, only to go on to become the league’s MVP. A bonafided superstar and future NBA legend, Stephen Curry has solidified himself as worthy of mention as one of the best to ever step onto the hardwood.
Wait, lets take a step back for a moment.
What are we looking at now is a finished product, a culmination of smaller moving parts. Like the video suggests Stephen Curry was over looked and ignored for many many years as a basketball star. He did not step into phenomenon like maybe another recent NBA playoff participant. The fact that Stephen Curry wasn’t suppose to necessarily do what he did sweetened his accomplishment. Success often follows this blueprint of toiling away in obscurity until you are recognized in what seems like a flash of celebrity but you know to be an end result of a consistent sacrifice. YOU saw this, its everyone else whose late to the party.
Stephen Curry made a decision long ago to develop habits that supported the dream he had for himself. He made a choice. Success is ambiguous and relative, making it elusive for most people; they don’t know what it looks like. The people who can define success quantify what it means to them so they can begin the work of obtaining it. In college success is a piece of paper with your name on it declaring you have completed the educational requirements of an institution of higher learning. In basketball success is being able to play with the best in the city, state, country or world and be crowned a champion. In fatherhood success is being able to raise your children to reflect the very best in you and accomplish great things in the world all while still being true to themselves. Stephen Curry has defied odds and risen to the pinnacles of notoriety of his sport all while highlighting humble work ethic, his family and GOD; he is a successful father. I am not ashamed to say I plan to use his journey to enhance my own experience. I don’t believe in success being germane to one unique area of your life and not the other. You can use everything for everything.
I am going to have a vision of the type of father I want to be and what kind of people my children will become. I will develop habits around what that vision entails and support it with meticulous work on mechanics day in and day out. If I do anything that it isn’t perfect I’ll just try again knowing I am going to get better. I won’t need anyone to tell me, I will police myself, over and over again. No matter what obstacles are put in my way I will retain a consistent level of caring and thoughtfulness with my children. That is the standard of fatherhood I want to hold myself to. This will all be supported by the people I care for, myself, my children and GOD.
To all the Stephen Curry Dads shooting in the gym waiting for the press conference where you can smile, thank your Creator and let your cute daughter steal the spotlight since you’ve been cooking for a while……
Happy Father’s Day.
– A Single Dad.