Friday, November 18, 2011

Tebow Got Me Out of Bed This Morning

What does Tim Tebow have to do with me getting up at 5:30 to run five miles this morning? And, what does this have to do with tennis?

Last night I watched the Broncos/Jets game in its entirety due to the fact that I started Willis McGahee on my fantasy team. It was a pitiful game for Willis, and he garnered me a whopping -1 for the night! I don't mind though, because what I saw and heard was inspirational. Tim Tebow (QB for the Broncos) led his team on another last-minute, game winning drive over one of the toughest defenses in the league. That was exciting and fun to watch, but what stuck with me was what he said after the game.

He threw out so many cliches like "We just said, here's our chance to be great." "When I miss a pass, I just tell my receiver, I'll get it to you next time." "We are just focused on improving every day." "We are taking it one game at a time." "I don't worry about things I can't control. I'm just blessed to have so many people supporting me and pulling for me." But, what really got my attention was that he seemed to really understand them and BELIEVE them. I get the sense that his whole life he has been practicing, learning, and applying that understanding and belief.

At one point he mentioned that winning a football game is great, but what really gets him excited is his project to build a hospital in the Philipines. That really got my attention and was the point where something clicked in my brain. I can't really say why, but that pressed my inspiration button. Here's a guy with a plan - win football games and use it as a platform to change people's lives for the better. I can understand why people follow him. He's only 24 and he's got the maturity to know what he wants and use all of his focus every minute of every day to work toward that goal.

It may have gone unnoticed to many, but directly after the game when all of the players were finishing up handshakes, I saw something I'm not sure I've seen before. There was a group of around 20 players from BOTH teams on the field on their knees with joined hands and bowed heads in circle. Tebow was among them, and it looked like another player was leading a prayer. You can agree or disagree with the tennets of particular religions, but I imagine there were players from multiple faiths in that circle. I think the important thing is that those players were inspired to give thanks for their blessings, and I think they were inspired by Tim Tebow.

I don't have be a Christian or a Muslim to buy what Tim Tebow is selling. He's selling Belief, Hard Work, Focus, Empowerment, Giving, Learning, Gratitude, Humility, Courage, and the list goes on. As a scientist, I'm always looking for evidence and analysis before I believe in something. Tim Tebow is proof that if you live by and work to understand all of these cliches that we all know, you WILL be successful. Ironic that a man of such faith is providing me such a concrete example of how to live a better life. Who says I don't go to church on Sunday?