Good morning, Horse Nation! Hope you had a great weekend and are feeling ready to tackle new week like a champ.
Speaking of champs, I’m typically like “meh” when it comes to sports that don’t involve horses, but every now and again a non-horsey sports storyline will float through my periphery that grabs my attention. I’m talking, of course, about Jeremy Lin, the Knicks point guard who seemingly came out of nowhere two weeks and nine games ago to stomp pretty much everybody in sight–including, most recently, defending N.B.A. champions the Mavericks over the weekend.
If you don’t know Lin’s Cinderella story, a super-brief recap: As a Harvard graduate who was undrafted after college, Lin got bounced around a bit in the D-League before becoming the Knicks’ third-string point guard. The first week of February, after running out of other options, the Knicks coach got desperate and put Lin in. He’s been kicking bums and taking names every since, and people everywhere are LOVING it, resulting in a phenomenon that has been coined “Linsanity.” I asked my sports-obsessed fiance why it took the N.B.A. this long to realize that Lin was awesome, to which he replied, “They never gave him a chance.” He said that, in all likelihood, it also had to do with the fact that he’s one of very few Asian-Americans in N.B.A. history.
I love stories like that–the ones where people (and/or horses) just keep fighting against the odds until the world is literally forced to sit up and take notice. Every life is a story, and whether it is a story worth telling and talking about it up to you. If Lin had just given up when the NBA kept kicking him around, like, “Oh, maybe I’ll just go do something sensible with my Harvard degree,” he wouldn’t be living a very exciting story. ESPN wouldn’t be talking about him non-stop, he wouldn’t be on the cover of Time magazine and people wouldn’t be walking down the street wearing his jersey. All the best sports stories–horsey ones included–follow a similar trajectory. What if trainers had just given up on Seabiscuit because he was a little difficult? What Karen O’Connor had just written Teddy off, like, “He’ll never be great, he’s just a pony.”
One thing I try to continually ask myself if whether I’m living a good story. If I think about my life being a book and I’m reading it and sort of nodding off a little, I know something needs to change. A good story has conflict, and struggle, and risk-taking, and hopefully it also has a big finish where everyone is cheering you on and maybe there’s a nice, soaring John Williams soundtrack in the background. I welcome the tough stuff, because I know it’ll make my story a little more interesting in the end.
How’s your story reading?
Go Lin, and Go Riding.