Wednesday, August 24, 2011

...On The Road Again

PAT SUMMITT

Watching an interview where she is with her son talking about her condition caused butterflies to flutter in my stomach. The way she sits on camera, calmly describing how she came to recognize that something wasn’t right with her and her functioning, sounded quite familiar. I can remember how it felt when I realized that it wasn’t that my job had become ‘too much’, which was entirely possible at the start of the ‘aughts' as the auto industry went into a tailspin and stuff at my job started to get panicky and squirrelly.


The grace under pressure and fierce determination that she has display as coach, mentor, and teacher is still visible as she speaks, talking almost as if she is describing a game plan for an opponent she had already played before and is looking forward to the rematch game on the enemy’s home court. You know, that is the thing about winners… they don’t back down from a challenge and you can hear the resolve in her voice as she speaks, that she is gearing up compete and live her life without compromise, with networks of friends, family and admirers for support.


She said she is going to continue to coach and who really knows how long she will be able to do that. There are a lot of factors that come into play and there is one in particular, her adult independence, whose impact that I think about. Will she ‘shut it down’, stop coaching and be more circumspect with her choices on her own or will she go on until the observations of others become so imposing that she is cowed into ‘the bedroom in the back of the house’.


As things went into a retrograde for me, with work becoming a challenge that I could not meet (but that I felt had I known what I was working with at the time…) and driving becoming a thing of the past, I just was fortunate enough to hear a story that applied to me on the radio and I decided to get checked out by my doctor and hear we are!!

AND I… I LIVE BY THE RIVER…


My time with Mookie Dee was still under the operational parameters of my ‘Ex-list’ approach to life and relationships. Included as a part of this was my relocation to Nebraska, where I could see things breaking one of two ways… but as I hinted in my previous entry, another way can be seen in the underbrush…


… But back now to me. I would mention, infrequently or no, that I would be perfectly fine with becoming ‘friends’ with Nebraska. I would have understood if readers thought that I was head over heels, caught in the irrational throes of the kind of internet love that used to be a staple of network news programs as examples of a desperate love gone tragic. I would think back to ‘The Showdown’ and of how Angelo Dundee told Sugar Ray Leonard, “…you’re blowin’ it son!” late into that epic match. Pushed to the brink, panic never overtook Ray and he would find what it took to secure his victory. When you really have a drive, be it insatiable or middling, it is going to push you on (and you don’t stop!) until you absolutely can’t anymore, and somewhere in there is how I pictured my move here. It would be nice if I found someone to hang with, particularly if that someone was that someone, but that was never the goal for me.


Hopefully, it is understood that I have issues with the things I remember of my intimate relationships, starting at home. There are certain things that ‘you just don’t do’ and despite how I behaved or performed, I left for the service with the intention of leaving my family behind.



(“But Mark,” you say, “you’ve posted this video before…” And to that I say, “And, what? While doin’ the dance, you might hurt your back so you look to the crowd and say ‘I meant to do that!’")




I feel a lot more comfortable nagging maintenance, giving grief to my counselors, and being anal with my doctors or whoever else I interact with outside of my home because listening to me and meeting my concerns IS THEIR FREAKIN’ JOB and they don’t have a choice. Those relationships are clear and those boundaries etched clearly. You don’t have to like me, but do a brother a favor… get on your freakin’ job and make what I asked of you, happen, pretty please with sugar on top!


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Disclaimer: Some of this feels whiny and particularly specious coming from me but anywho… and a-here we go!


BE SOMEBODY’S PRIORITY AND NOT SOMEBODY’S “OPTION”… DON’T SETTLE FOR BEING A SECOND RATE CUT!


When I saw that I was like, “Ye gods, man… that’s it!” The feeling that I was on a tier lower than I should be in the lives of some people (reason for the disclaimer: it wasn’t like that for errybohdy... there is a reason that I am 'the man we all know and love'!) that I were an active part of my life has hung over me nearly 30 years. I like to think of myself as having a ‘cat-like’ approach, aloof by nature because my DNA tells me that I am something special, not so much to where I should be given attention and worship, but certainly feel that I should be thought of as ‘first among equals’.






Life is life and everyone has stuff to do. But when you want something you have to make time for it and address it, make space for it according to what it’s absolute and true importance to you.


Using my ‘candy cocktail’ as an example, I miss my Butterfingers! I have only eaten them since forever and I have even used them as a deterrent against migraine headaches!! But because I want ‘other things’ more, I have had to forego their undisciplined purchase (or I could have spoke of how I handled my sex life while I was actively boxing, but who wants to hear about THAT?!?)


I don’t mind being outside of someone’s ‘top 3’. The elite of a person’s personal life is their elite level and I can understand if you fill your rankings out like Gayle Sayers. That is their right, right? But don’t ‘Boise State me, bro!’ And what I mean by that is simply this.


I refuse to be started out so low in the rankings that I can do everything that is asked of me and at the end of the season still be on the outside of the championship game. Should this be too much to ask, it is cool, because I know what I rate… and if I am on YOUR periphery, then…

7 comments:

LceeL said...

I LOVE Butterfingers. But as a Type II Diabetic, they aren't on the menu any longer.

And you have it right - Don't Settle.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

That is sad about the TN coach, hope she can carry on for a bit longer.

Toon said...

I saw the coach story on the news and heard reported that she was doing mental exercises as part of her therapy. I started to wonder 'what are these exercises?should I be doing them?'

V said...

I wouldn't mind if you posted the song a thousand times. Each time I'll get all excited. Such a fucking great song :)

Tara R. said...

I graduated from the University of Tennessee, Class of '85. I remember Summitt as Pat Head. Being a poor college kid, free sports event were the best entertainment. Watching the Lady Vols play under the coaching of Summitt was spectacular. She is probably the best loved of any coach UT has ever had. Class act all the way.

Jonthy, Alice the uppity white cat's babysitter said...

Mark, I was sorry to hear the interview with Pat Summit. It reminds me so much of my mother's dementia. The only difference is that Pat has been diagnosed at a much younger age. I saw an HBO special about Pat and the Tennessee Vols a view years ago and was wowed by her skills with the young women on her team. I hope the University of Tennessee will work with her to extend her coaching career as long as possible. No one will ever forget her.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I have to know, what did Winston Churchill say about cats? I have eight, and they are family. If I meet Churchill in the afterlife, I may have to beat his ass.

Love you lots,

SB