Invictus

What else is there to say about life.

Years ago, a young man took his place as coach of a small team with no coach. Football of all things. Football. We all know what the world of sports can do to a kids self esteem, their self worth. Or do we? This young man, who was still developing his ego and place in adulthood had something deep in his heart. He had seen what High School sports had done to lay ruin to a good few boys. He took it upon himself to change what team sports and football could do to a select few and he wanted to embody the positive effects of the sport and brotherhood. He wanted to make a difference. It turned out that he did. This team of misfits for the most part, came into a brotherhood not too many boys in this modern world get to experience. I watched this young man, probably unknowing of the effect he would have in this world,  grow into a man and a leader as he coached this team the 1st year. He had a plan to affect change in the lives of the members of this team, and he did for most that were open to his gift.

He started it with this poem. Imagine, 2003, a group of 10 year old boys, standing in a circle, reciting this poem, before every practice, before every game. For like 7 years. Imagine how, as time passed, as the understanding of the words and personal meaning grew, as the meaning of personal perseverance and dedication to ones self bloomed in their souls, that these young men could be humble within the world, confident in their actions and rich within their souls. This coach stayed with this group of boys for all the years they played rec ball. Imagine these boys, growing into men, about 25 years old now. Imagine the foundation that these boys have in their lives. The shored up confidence that whatever life can throw at them is nothing close to the strength they have within themselves to be a warrior and rise again. A warrior. That is what this personifies. Warriors aren’t warriors because they always win the fight, they are warriors because they got the shit beat out of them. They got knocked down, bruised and broken and with all the bludgeoning, they rose up to fight again, or at least learn from what was created and experienced and create something new, better and stronger than any circumstance could provide.  Strength, Stability and Humility were the reward. These lessons weren’t limited to the field of play, but in the daily life of a boy, growing into a man. A warrior.

My son was one of these boys. He has moved far away, serving our country and becoming educated in life and circumstance. Each day, he is a reminder to those around him that life isn’t what we are living, it’s just the stuff we have to deal with while we live. For me as a parent, my greatest hope isn’t what my children grow up to do for a living is magnificent or worldly , or that my children are protected from challenges and danger. My greatest hope is that my children rise up to realize circumstance and  chance is not where life is, it’s a constant that never fails to challenge, but it is not what makes up their parts. My greatest hope is that they know and trust that they can rise up as warriors and be human and kind, be forgiving and understanding, humble and accepting. My greatest hope is that they experience challenges with the knowledge that they are the Masters of their fate and the captains of their souls. What a blessing  Coach Tyler Timothy is to our family and to my children, even now, he is coaching other kids. He didn’t coach my other children on the field and they didn’t play football but he coached them in the importance of knowing their strengths and abilities. He could do this because he is still apart of our lives, to this day. He is still an example that circumstance and chance do not choose our path, but create opportunities to shine and rise above the muck.

No matter what it throws at you, no matter the circumstance, the chance, the punishments, it is up to each one of us as individuals to choose how we are effected and what we do to act upon the opportunity to truly be the creator of the life we live and the happiness and joy we find within it. The knowledge and perseverance to be the master of our fate, choose and create moments that transcend the pain, not by transcending our body but by embracing the challenges and transcending the effects that could be but will never be because we are the captains of our souls. Create, effect and act in a way that nothing can rip the soul and joy from your life by just accepting it for what it is and be. Be the master and the captain, be you. It takes practice to learn reactions that are builders not destroyers and practice is what it takes. Practice being exactly what you want to be. It’s so much easier to be happy if you practice what makes you happy. It’s so much easier to make good choices if you practice making good choices. It is so much easier to look at challenges in the face if we practice to face them.

screenshot_20180613-224202_google7319953382132509437.jpgIn yoga there are 3 poses of the warrior and many variations of such. Each one can be used as practice for adversity. Practicing Warrior 1, 2 and 3 ( Virabhandrasana’s) is very advanced if practiced in the principles of alignment, but each movement towards alignment is the practice, that’s what is wonderful!  It’s the foundation that when pressed upon, stabilizes and sets up alignment. It allows the rising up and shining out. When you truly use the principles of alignment to achieve the Warriors, you are lifted, your body rises and your inner bright shines out. You press and root to rise.  You pull in to reach out. It is an amazing way to practice Invictus. Take it to the mat, leave it on the mat. Achieve and ever evolve your Warriors in practice. It’s the practice that makes us strong and ready to face adversity, not the pose necessarily, but the practice of the pose. Practice life there, and your challenges outside of there become an opportunity, not a sentence. Be a warrior, rise up and share your Invictus with the world.

 

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