Thursday, August 14, 2008

Do or Die.

There are certain experiences that change a person forever such as losing loved ones, losing a battle or failing at something. And then there are also those little moments of realization, the ones that teach a lesson, the ones that leave a mark. The realization begins with acceptance - admitting to myself that I let the situation get the better of me, that I fell short, that I wasn't able to think clearly at crunch time because my mind was messing with me, that I could've done it but didn't. And then I'd look at the brighter side and realize that everything that just happened was meant to teach me a lesson, and more than that, it allowed me discover something about myself. I know we tried really hard but we kind of just totally missed out on something there. Had we looked hard enough, the solution was just right there and we would have spared ourselves one full day of trouble. I gave up so easily.

It's just so difficult to live up to expectations. On one hand, there are the expectations of people who think they deserve the best service, quality work... whoever's assigned there, me or someone else, should just deliver. There are also the expectations of people who put me in place. They'd always say there's no pressure but that's just impossible. Freakin' impossible. And lastly, my own expectations. I think I expect too much from myself and maybe that's a good thing. However, that's also what destroys me, when I think that I'm not meeting my own expectations I get very frustrated.

My philosophy has always been that teamwork isn't just a mere collective effort. It's not only about people working together, holding hands and rising above the odds. It's also about the individual effort that each member puts through, the commitment and the contribution.

This experience also showed me what a good leader is really like. He's someone who always says that he won't hold our hands but always shows up when the going gets tough, shows us how it's done, helps us see ourselves more clearly in moments of self-doubt and carries us, his team, on his shoulders in times of desperation when we think all hope is lost (and it has happened so many times).

So the simple answer to the question, "bakit hindi niyo naisip yon?" is: kasi hindi kami kasing galing mo.

Every basketball team needs a clutch shooter, and a very, very strategic and unwavering coach in do or die games. I remember how it felt like one time, in an important Ateneo game, during the last few seconds the crowd stood still, stunned and defeated. Ateneo was about to lose. We only needed the buzzer to confirm it. Then the coach called a time out. Ateneo was one point behind, one second to go. There's just one second left in the clock but Norman Black believed that Ateneo can do it. It wasn't over for him and the team. Next thing we knew, we were crying tears of Joy.