Courageous Warriors

If anyone knows a little about me they know I’m a tennis fan — well, more like — fanatic. My husband refers to himself as a “tennis widower” when the Grand Slams roll around. To all you spouses who complain about being “football widows,” you’ve got nothing compared to my poor hubby when tennis is on! I’ve been known to rearrange my entire sleep schedule just to watch all the action “live.” It’s rough when it’s the Australian Open.

Wimbledon is going on right now. And like a lot of people, it’s difficult not to overlook the event of the last three days at the tournament: the amazing, record-shattering, marathon match between American John Isner and France’s Nicolas Mahut. Go to any sports page or Wimbledon.org and you can see the mind-blowing statistics that have re-written the history books. It’s one of those very rare matches when you’re sad it’s over because they’re has to be a winner and a loser. In reality, there were no losers today. Nicolas Mahut has no reason to hang his head. Both Mahut and Isner were warriors, on another level, showing the best of competition, sportsmanship, and courage. It’s one of the reasons I like tennis so much. You can leave it all out there on the court, yet you shake hands with your opponent at the end of the day.

Most of us know that you need to be courageous when fighting cancer. Whether you’re the patient or the loved one, courage is a must, along with the courage to leave it all in God’s hands. And I hope I’m respectful during the battle and once the battle is complete. I hope to be polite, courteous, and respectful of the doctors and nurses, and all those who take part in my care. All the way to the accounting office when there’s confusion on a bill — I hope I don’t take my frustrations out on the poor woman calling me when there’s been a billing error.

In life, I hope I am courageous — courageous enough to hang in there when the seas are rough, or courageous enough to go for it and take a chance on my dreams. To train, put in the difficult work, and be gracious no matter what.

Isner and Mahut could’ve quit on their dreams. Or even quit during this tennis match and the world would’ve been without this great day in sports. But instead they were their own kind of champion for over 11 hours of unprecedented tennis. No one lost today. Eventually, I hope this match will be a sweet memory for Mahut as I know it will be for Isner. We are all richer for witnessing their drama.

I want to live my life going for my dreams, fighting the hard fight, yet walking away a winner just in the way I’ve conducted myself and treated those around me. If in my everyday life, through my writing, and having the courage to put it all out there can touch someone because I didn’t quit, well, then I know I’m living my life the way God intended.

I want to always be that kind of courageous warrior.

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