Humility – Get Some!

The pain wasn’t instant.  I had to take another step before it hit me.  My quadriceps was getting hot, with a small inch sized square of my thigh emanating the most heat and pain.  I walked off the field and tried to rub it.  The rub then turned to a half-assed deep massage.  After a minute of that I limped to the far goal, on the field no one was using, and attempted to stretch my quad using the goal to brace myself.  It was no use, this was not some minor tweak. The muscle was either pulled or torn.  I limped back to the sideline, grimacing as I got closer.  I untied my cleats, threw them in my bag and put on my sneakers.

“I’ll see you guys tomorrow…I’ve been humbled” I said as I limped off, slightly embarrassed.

Note to self:  You are 38 years old.  You MUST stretch dummy!  You can’t just walk out onto a field or court and not prepare yourself…you’re not a kid anymore.

I’ve had a lot of humbling experiences over the past 16 months, for which I am thankful. The dictionary describes humility as the quality or condition of being humble; a modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc. For me, Humility is that force, like gravity, that brings you down to Earth.  Humility is that friend who doesn’t just warn you of your own hubris, she show’s you where, why and how badly you were wrong. Humility is truth.  Humility is sobriety.  Humility is that moment of clarity, that realization that yes…your shit does have an odor to it.

Humility doesn’t have to be a negative thing, at least I don’t look at it that way.  Humility is like constructive criticism – you can ignore it, or get upset if you want, but it’s my opinion that you’re missing out on a real opportunity. I welcome humility, in some ways I’ve begun to pursue it.  Many of us have this nice little insulated comfort zone, where everything, and everyone is agreeable and we’re “good” at the things we do.  Opening yourself up to the possibility of humility is a good way to venture out of that comfort zone. Feeling like you’re safe and secure is great, but life isn’t always safe and secure.

“A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”                             — John A. Shedd

I heard this quote this weekend.  I forget where I heard it, but I think it’s appropriate. Opening yourself up to humility is like sending that ship out to sea.  The open water is vast, expansive, dangerous and unpredictable – as is life.  We’re not born to feel safe and secure all of the time.  We’re not born to succeed in all of our endeavors.  Not everyone is going to understand us, or agree with us.  We will fail, and we will fall.  Our hearts will be broken, and we may feel pain.  But, that’s life…isn’t it?  Doesn’t the bitter make the sweet more satisfying?  That’s how I look at humility, without it what would I have to be proud of?  That feeling of humility, the feeling of being brought back down to Earth, makes the ascension of achievement feel that much more rewarding.  The clarity that humility provides makes us appreciate what we do have, and who we truly are.  I’m not always as good as my best, and thankfully, I’m not as bad as my worst.  I’m somewhere in between.  We take things day by day, and try to be, and do our best.  If you’re good at everything, try new shit!  If everyone loves you, get out and meet more people! Embarrass yourself every once and a while.  Live life as hard as you can!

Humility – Get Some!


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