I play racquetball.
I play racquetball a lot.
I like to win. I like to win a lot.
Even more, I like to play well,
To the limits of my ability and beyond.

I find the mental game incredibly important,
In sports and in life.
I’ve learned many valuable life lessons on the court.

I lost a match the other day,
That I could have won.
I was over confident.
It was a match-up I usually win.

I mean, this guy is good.
He’s cleaned my clock a time or two,
I do usually win.

This time I didn’t.
And the why was inside of me, not outside.
I didn’t give it my all, all the time.

I stayed close, within a couple of points.
Confident that I could pull it out at the end.
That I could reach down deep and summon the beast,
Put it into overdrive,
Serve my way out, hustle up a few points at will.

I’ve done it a million times before,
Unleashed the beast,
Released the eye of the tiger,
Only this time it wasn’t there.

Blame jet lag, blame 24 hours up followed by two 5-1/2 hour nights,
Blame the sore throat, blame the cold… No, don’t!
My mental game, my responsibility.
I was over confident.
Didn’t play all out, full out, the entire game.

Defeat inspires greater effort.
Adversity energizes.
A champion finds something to use in everything.
Good enough never is.
Lesson learned.

Learned again, it’s true.
Yet each time, driven deeper,
‘Til it becomes cellular memory,
Powerful habit, propelling me endlessly forward.
Always onward, always higher.
“A man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?”