Wednesday, February 24, 2010

7 Life Lessons Learned from Basketball

The dynamics in the game of basketball very much correspond to what takes place in life.

As in basketball, so in life:

1. Learn and master the fundamentals of the game.
Before you can play the game of basketball you must learn the basics or the fundamentals - how to play the game, how to pass, to dribble, run the court and shoot the ball. You have to develop the necessary skills to play at an acceptable level.

In life you must also learn the basics. You must establish what it (life) is, what it means to you and want you from it. You must then develop the requisite skills and strategies for attaining it.

2. Be prepared both mentally and physically. Elite athletes know that you can't function optimally or win games if you're not prepared both mentally and physically. You must be in great physical shape to withstand a long, grueling and demanding basketball season. Equally important, you must have mental fitness. Mental fitness includes a positive, willing and winning mindset. One without the other will not win games.

Being prepared mentally and physically is equally essential in life.

3. Be unselfish and a team player. Basketball is a team sport, which means it requires contribution and co-operation from every member in order to play well and win. Everyone must focus, work together and fulfill their individual role for the common good of the team.
As great of a player that Michael Jordan was, he did not win any championships until he learned to involve his teammates by trusting them and distributing the ball.

In one of the highest scoring games of his career, where he scored 63 points and set a playoff game record, his team lost to the Boston Celtics. In a sport where individual greatness is in large part measured by winning a championship ring, personal glory does not get the job done.

So it is with life. Contribute, co-operate and share.

4. Be alert and aware. Anticipate the play. The greatest players in basketball have all been credited for having extraordinary court vision and awareness. Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and other great players knew exactly where everyone was on the court, the players' tendencies, and which plays would work against the different teams. The ability to anticipate and be ready for a play made them active, rather than reactive, players in a game. It's one of the factors that separates the great players from good players.

Being conscious and aware in life sets the stage for achievement.

5. If the plays aren't working, re-adjust the game plan. Every great basketball player knows that when your plays aren't working you have to adjust, and then adjust some more. The varying strengths and styles of different opponents require different tactics. You have to be able to withstand and respond to, whichever attack an opponent comes at you with.

Life presents us with many challenges
for which we must adjust our game plan.

6. Never give up on the play. Persevere. Another characteristic common to the brilliance of Larry, Magic and Michael was that they never gave up on a play. When they missed shots they would be the ones to retrieve their own rebounds, dive for loose balls, outwit defenders, and make every last second count (many times it did). They were willing to do the small things that the statistics didn't reflect. Many a dagger was thrust into an opponent's heart when the outcome of the game seemed a foregone conclusion. Why? Because they never gave up. Not on the play, not on the game, not on themselves!

Persevere. Never, ever, ever give up.

7. Win more games than you lose, but accept both victory and defeat graciously. No matter what sport you play, you can't win every game. In a 7 game championship series, two evenly matched teams often win only one more game than they've lost. It takes blood, sweat and tears to win a championship. If you give it everything you've got, no matter what the outcome, you can walk away with your head held high. Learn what it takes to win and come back and try again. Larry, Magic and Michael before they won, lost many, many games and championships. They had to learn to accept defeat before they understood what it took to win.

So it is with life. Everything will not always go your way. There will be both losses and wins. If you give everything your best shot and learn the lessons along the way, you will come out a winner.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

6 Personality traits to admire and acquire

Saw this on yahoo - and I possess ALL of these traits!

Although I could probably list a dozen characteristics, I thought I’d list those that seem to be the rarest or most difficult to find.
  1. Selflessness: In a world where many people don’t have the time or the interest in others, selflessness is a quality that seems to be less and less common. People can be selfless in the time they give, the ability to listen, their level of patience and the love that they give. Those who are giving and generous in nature have the power to make others feel loved, appreciated and special. While those who are self-absorbed tend to do the exact opposite.
  2. Tolerance: Those people who are tolerant make us feel comfortable with who we are and special as individuals. All of us are different, and many of us have quirks and idiosyncrasies. After all, these differences make the world go round. Having the ability to accept people for who they are and not expect them to be who we want them to be is important in life, happiness and in the health of our relationships.
  3. Genuineness: Having the ability to be real, authentic and honest is unique in a world where we put so much emphasis on the superficial. Feeling comfortable in one’s skin and being true to one’s self is one of the most beautiful traits one can possess. To have a REAL relationship with someone requires honesty…it requires hearing and giving input or feedback that may not always be popular…it means having the strength to tell it like it is and to not be afraid to face the consequences for doing so…it means loving people for who they really are…deep down…and not for what they appear to be.
  4. Sensitivity: So often we are focused on what is important to ourselves that we can forget about those around us. Those who are sensitive are often thoughtful, appreciative and loving, in a way that makes you feel understood, valued and respected. Often, sensitive people are also self-aware, making them mindful of how they impact others with what they do and say.
  5. Integrity: Call me cynical, but I think this characteristic is especially difficult to find. In a time when people will do things that are underhanded to make an extra buck (Bernie Madoff…can you hear me?), expose their personal lives to the public so they can be famous (balloon boy’s dad and any other reality TV mongers) and do what feels good in the moment without necessarily thinking of the consequences (Tiger Woods), integrity is a characteristic that is especially unique today.
  6. Humility: Whether someone is super-smart, extremely talented or drop-dead gorgeous, there is something extra special about them if they don’t come across as though they know it all the time. Humility in those that possess extraordinary traits make others feel special too.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Its been a couple of weeks since a post. I've been so busy that I have to SCHEDULE time to nap!

But today has been a relaxing day. I woke up at 6am ...on a Saturday to take my test for certification. It was a bit repetitive and I think I was tired and feeling as though I should've waited until this semester was over to take the test. Hopefully, I did well though and won't have to worry about it again. Will find out in about 5 weeks.

So after I finished the test, I came back to my apartment and went to sleep. I woke up and watched "The Great Debaters" on tv, and now "Sex & the City" is on. I really love this movie, and I've probably seen it a dozen times and it always makes me cry at the same part - when they are in Mexico.

This particular part makes me think of friendships. Even though this is just a movie, I really believe that movies are based on someone's life. Carrie has 3 friends that she met when she moved to NYC and remained her best friends throughout all the ups and downs of life. I feel like I've been a very good friend to all of my friends. And in some instances it has backfired in my face - the most recent mentioned in previous blogs. I've been told that I would always be a close friend but someone could never be my best friend because when I get upset I "take things out" on people close to me this person who I've known for years doesn't want to be that person. WOW!! So I was pretty much told that I was only getting a half-friend because when I get upset, it frustrates me and I don't know how to handle I admit I take things out on others. So, I can't be selfish because others can't handle it.

I guess I should've known what type of friends I have when everything happened with Jordan. I couldn't even tell you how many people that were my "friends" had called to check on me or just to talk. It was after I lost Jordan that I stopped getting in touch with people first. Every once in a while here lately, I'll send a text or something to someone. But for the most part, I don't pick up my phone to contact anyone except for my mom if they haven't contact me first because...what's the point? If they don't have anything to say to me, why should I have something to say to them?

I know that everyone is a friend in their own way. But the type of friend I am to my friends, they aren't that way to me - but they are to other people...other friends who aren't the same type of friend or even on the same level of type of friend that I am. I guess I'm feeling dooped. Why am I getting the short end of the stick??

So back to Sex & the City...when will I find the Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha to my Carrie? I'm back at a point that I've thought I've been at before, but with a twist. I'm learning to be comfortable doing things alone. I was talking to someone about doing a celebration for my Graduation and birthday (Graduation is in May, birthday is in June - how fitting, right?). At first I said I would want to do a cruise. But then I got to thinking about being on a boat for 3 - 5 days and only being on land for a few hours a day...not my cup of tea just yet. So I announced a change of plans that I would want to go somewhere that I had never been, but a beach of some sorts and just chill. What was suggested? A state where they knew people and they could invite a group of their friends that I might like. But if I'm spending a weekend with people I just met, I have no choice but to be nice to them! So as I'm writing this blog, I've decided to go against that plan. And just go somewhere by myself. Not having to depend on anyone else or plan things around what they do or don't want to do - because obviously the same courtesy was/is not going to be paid to me.

Its that time that I become my own best friend. Maybe once I perfect that I'll be able to find 3 friends ...true friends.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hi Hater .....

A hater is someone that is jealous and envious and spends all their time trying to make you look small so they can look tall. When you make your mark, you will always attract some haters...

That's why you have to be careful who you share your blessings and your dreams with because some folk can't handle seeing you blessed...

It's dangerous to be like somebody else... If God wanted you to be like somebody else He would have given you what He gave them. You don't know what people have gone through to get what they have...(the problem I have with haters is that they see my glory, but they don't know my story) If the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, you can rest assured that the water bill is higher there too.

We've all got some haters among us: Some people don't like it that you can:
* Come to church
* Get your praise on
* Bless His Holy Name
* Haters don't want to see you happy
* Haters don't want to see you succeed
* Haters don't want you get the victory

Most of our haters are people that are supposed to be on our side. How do you handle the haters who you at least expect to have your guard up against? You can handle your haters by:
1. Knowing who you are & who your true friends are
2. Having a purpose
3. By remembering what you have is by divine prerogative and not human manipulation.

Purpose does not mean having a job. You can have a job and still be unfilled. A purpose is having a clear sense of what God has called you to be. Your purpose is not defined by what others
think about you. You will always be trying to get stuff because the more stuff you have will improve what others think about you, but what others think will last as long as the stuff last. When God gives you favor, you can tell your haters, "Don't look at me...Look at who is in charge of me..."

Watch out for those haters!!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Things Old Folks Say....

Have you ever sat and thought about the sayings that old people have and wondered where they came from and it wasn't until you were old that some of them started to make sense?

That's how I'm feeling lately. There are two universal sayings that have made sense over this weekend alone.

The first: "This hurts me more than it hurts you." This is usually said when receiving a whooping! LOL!! But seriously, it is. And I never could understand how someone whoopin' your tail hurt them more than it hurt to receive it. But ....when someone is doing something that is mean and/or hurtful towards you but its, in a way, for your own good, it hurts them to be mean but its something that has to be done.

The second: "Bought sense is better than borrowed." I've FINALLY understood what this means. As individuals going through the life we are given, we are going to make some decisions that after its all said and done we will think, "Why did I even do that," but without mistakes how can you learn? What I take from this old saying is that when you pay for the lesson that you've learned you'll remember it more and be less likely to repeat it than if you're going off of what someone has told you. Yes, its good to talk to someone who has been down that road before, but experience is the best and worst teacher. HEY!!! That's another saying that I wasn't even thinking of but its a good one ....

"Experience is the worst teacher, it gives you the test before giving the lesson."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Book of Eli

I went and saw that tonight. And I must admit I was a little skeptical about it. But I absolutely loved it!! Loved the ending!! Loved everything!! I believe that, yet again, Denzel did a FANTASTIC job!!

And again another instance when art immitates life, some of the quotes that he had in the movie, really touched my heart.

There is a quote in the movie that I absolutely loved and figured I would share, I won't say where it happens in the movie but there is a slight spoiler in what I'm about to post - you've been warned.

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" - II Timothy 4:7 NKJV

It's the GOD in Me

Some might wonder or think, why all of the sudden turn to God when things go wrong. My response in a question is, why not? Think about it, even people who aren't saved or claim that their is no God (Lord have mercy on them) when times get tough and unbearable, they will say a prayer, even if its simply "Lord help me." Think about it.....

When things were going bad and I was really depressed over losing Jordan, I had NO ONE that I could talk to one could really relate to what I was going through. Yes I had found some who had went through the exact same thing, but everyone handles things differently. So I engulfed myself in God, opening my heart to listen to what He had to say to me, letting Him wrap His loving arms around me in times when I felt like it was unbearable to go on, and really just staying positive that the promises He had made to me were true.

Even though the last week has been stressful....emotionally and mentally, I'm getting back to the positive, loving life, and optimistic person who saw the bright side to EVERY situation that I was before I had allowed someone else to be Top 5 in my life with me being behind them.

Plus, if you REALLY know me you know my background and it's not just some cliche thing for me to turn to God when I don't know where else to turn, it's what is already instilled in me today.

Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

7 Keys To Friendship

So I've been looking for a way not to feel guilty about what went down as well as not feel as though I had been used. One day I was flipping through the television and came across one of my favorite "televangelist" Creflo Dollar, and I swear everything he was saying was directed at me - funny how that always works like that. Soooooo...being the unselfish individual that I am, I decided to share what I've learned and what I study each morning ..the 7 Keys to Friendship.
In his message he stated: People need to learn to conduct themselves as friends. If someone can't be a friend before you get married or in a dating relationship, you cannot expect certain qualities to show up in the middle. If you can't past the test of friendship then it will be impossible to be any good in a relationship. Every dating relationship should achieve the objective of friendship.

7 Keys To Friendship

* Real friends bring comfort and support during trouble, in need
Job 2:11: Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him.

Friendship is comfortable a time of learning the other person and allows love to grow. In the Bible, distance was not an obstacle for Job's friends to come and comfort him in his time of need. They displayed an unconditional friendship. Nowadays friendship is conditional

* A friend is devoted
Job 6:14: To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.

Showing kindness to a person is showing honor and respect to God, when you're not kind to a person it is a dishonor to God.

* A friend loves unconditionally

A friend will love you no matter the situation is or what you've done. This is an individual that you've trusted with access and information that most are not privileged to hear, this relationship has a certain level of trust and confidence.
Unconditional love pertaining to friendship - does this person feel comfortable sharing the most intimate and private details of life with you? Do you trust them enough to expose yourself to them? You can't be accountable to another without being willing to be transparent - which is a scary thing to do.

* Friends speak constructively even when it hurts

There are friendships that are better than relationships because the friendship was not ever established. Its wrong if you have a friend and you have to find out from a stranger something that a friend should have told you.

Proverbs 27:6: Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful

Some of the people you are mad at and dont want to talk to anymore - were likely your friend ..WOW!!! From this verse I took that a true friend will likely hurt you, but they will faithfully be your friend based on the other keys to friendship mentioned already. But an enemy will say all of the right things and make you feel good at all times.

* A friend helps when you're down

* A friend has intimate knowledge of your affairs

John 15:15: No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

* A friend makes your life better by giving good advice

Proverbs 27:9: Ointment and perfume delight the heart and the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.

I'll probably elaborate on these key points more but I just couldn't keep these to myself!! :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Never Bring Up the Past or What Was Done When Youre Mad

Any one who knows me pretty well knows that I have a very big heart and don't mind doing for the people that I care about. They also know that I always worry that, "my kindness will be mistaken for weakness," and as hard as it is for me I try not to be too much of a giver.

I am not one to ask for something unless I really need it, and if I have it to give I'll give it.

Nothing bothers me more than when people bring up the things that have been done like some type of score is being kept. Am I the only one who has noticed that this is done when someone is angry? Why is that??

Why throw in someone's face something they ALREADY know? And why bring up what someone has done for you - they don't need to be reminded and in some cases it will appear as though that's the reasoning behind keeping them around.

It's easy to find out where someone is located if the bring up things they've done (they might just be doing it for recognition), you've done for them (that's really what's important to them), or they start singing a different song once the open door has been closed, so to speak.

It's 2010...only the 19th day and I've already learned so much about myself and others. I like years that I start off learning, I like being a lifelong learner :)

Jordan's Kicks

I named this blog Jordan's Kicks for a few different reasons.

1) the picture. Jordan's first pair of shoes/kicks Jordan XXIII's to match his father's and to represent the year that he was born - the year that they came out. I LOVE shoes, so it only made sense that my son would have a pair of shoes before I had even known for a fact that he was a boy. His shoes were the first time I held him.

2) I had went to the ER a few days before Jordan's delivery and was able to see him on the monitor - of course the ER tech couldn't tell the sex, but it was ok, I already knew. And on that monitor, there was my first baby..playing with his feet. Playing and kicking the tech back after he had pushed down to get him to move.

3) Jordan's kicks - I felt for the first time on June 20th and for the last time on June 25th. Jordan's kicks had me to put my hand on my stomach and feel him, "hold" him. The last time I held him - he didn't feel it, but I saw him on the monitor and he was still kicking.

Amazing What 9mos Can Change...

Just as I was getting comfortable with being alone, and even comfortable with seeing pictures of babies and holding them, my life changes.

I am at school and a guy approaches me. We exchange numbers and that's where it began - or could it be where it ended?

We immediately hit it off - had great conversation and just really comfortable with each other. He was different than any other guy I was used to because he was very forthcoming with how he was feeling and his current situation as well as personal goals. We had a connection that I couldn't pinpoint where it came from. I felt like we were the opposite sex version of ourselves in so many ways. We viewed relationships and friendships the same, we were both interested in sports, and felt instantly comfortable with each other.

He was looking for a person he could marry, while I was looking for someone to hang out with and just let whatever happen happen. So I was able to keep my feelings from becoming unbearable - and I also think it had a lot to do with not being ready to give myself to another guy the way I had with Jordan's father.

My new friend had certain aspects of his life that I felt like I could help him with. He didn't ask for the help, but he didn't turn it down when I offered it either. It was obvious that we were two people who had the type of chemistry that people who had been friends for years would have and we had only known each other a few weeks.

Then making sure those aspects of his life were up to par became one of my priorities. I made sure that he had a ride for where-ever he wanted to go, had food to eat, found ways to complete the necessities that he was lacking...and this went on for 9 months - recently when it finally came to a hault. But will get to that later.

There was nothing, within my abilities, that I would not do for him. We had gotten into a disagreement one time and I was EXTREMELY broken up about it, and I was talking to my mom about it and it wasn't about the fact that we may never talk again, but my concern was "how is he going to be able to eat." Talking to some of my internet friends who have gone through a loss, it helped me to realize that I had transferred my nurturing feelings that I felt I should have been having towards Jordan to him. I was infatuated with the fact that he WANTED me ...he NEEDED me and I wasn't ready to lose that.

Once I realized that was what was going on, I pulled back. Or so I thought. Once I pulled back from feeling like he NEEDED me, I finally let my guards completely down and started to have feelings for him and not what I could do for him.

I dont know whether to call it unfortunate or not, but I've been blessed with the biggest most compassionate heart there is. So, I was still doing things for him, not to the extreme level they were done before and not with the same motivation behind them - but because that's what I do when I care about someone, whether or not we are in a romantic type relationship or a friendship.

I was completely unaware how he felt about me, and honestly I was afraid to ask because I was afraid to hear it. So, I never told him how I felt - but come to find out he knew all much for being discreet.

To make a long story short, we are no longer talking anymore. After 9mos of being "just friends."

After 9mos of not feeling alone or worrying about it, and finally letting my feelings go - for the first time since LOONG before I had even known of Jordan. To finally TRUST someone, and it gets thrown back in my face and the feelings that I JUST found out are there, are already gone. I was never trusted enough to keep those feelings he had safe and not hurt him. Just like I was never trusted enough to keep Jordan safe and not hurt him.

So here I am...blogging at 7:58pm ...its been almost 2hrs since the last time he said anything to me - he's very upset and he's done and I have to deal with that. But what's worse is that I have to deal with being alone...all over again.

I feel the same way that I felt the first night that I came back after spending the summer with my parents. I haven't eaten a full meal in 4 days....just like the day I had lost Jordan - I didn't eat anything at all that day.

Now I'm looking at the situation and wondering, what was the point? Yes I did have that void filled temporarily, and I am aware that I do have the ability to care for someone and allow them to get close to me...but right now, it feels like...why? What's the point anymore? What's the point in giving your trust to someone, who doesn't want it and will throw it out the window at the first opportunity and want nothing to do with you. This has happened too much.

Being in a dark lonely place when all of the lights are on is a hard thing to deal with, but it seems like its the hand I was dealt, even though I tried to get the cards shuffled again.

Some Background....

I thought that I would start a blog because I need an outlet to express how I'm feeling. And since I'm feeling like I'm at a point where I can't talk to who I want to talk to, I'll just write it down.

In April 2008 I found out that I was pregnant with my first child - a boy and I knew it from the start. After going through an ordeal with his father, we finally came to grips - or at least I had, with what was about to happen.

Unexpectedly, in June 2008, I was 16 weeks pregnant, had just felt him kicking for the first time a week before and had felt him kicking every day since, but that day June 26th, it was different - I hadn't felt him all day. Ultimately, I end up in the emergency room and will never forget the nurse telling me "I'm sorry but you will have to deliver the baby today." NO!! This could not be happening!! I was supposed to find out in 2 weeks if my suspicions were true and I was about to have my first little boy. I prayed so hard for a miracle SOMETHING had to happen IMMEDIATELY. But nothing could be 11:32pm I gave birth to my very own angel - Jordan Lee.

He was developing perfectly. But what went wrong? 18 1/2 months later and I still don't know.

Feeling empty doesn't even begin to describe how I felt. In addition to feeling empty, I felt lost, worthless, and just wasting space in this thing called "life."

I took 12hrs of summer school 2wks later....12hrs in 5wks, because I couldn't have time to let my thoughts linger. I made a 4.0 that session, yet driving to the college and back home I cried, I stepped out of class and went to the bathroom and cried. But I made sure never to cry in front of anyone I cared about because I didn't want them to feel bad.

I went to church and that seemed to help, because I wasn't expected to be "strong."

I came back to where I went to college - that's when it started. I had just spent the whole summer living with my parents, but now I was back at my apartment - alone. I would hear babies crying, see the shoes that I had bought him, the area that I had made ready for all of the clothes and toys that he was going to have. I went to work every day, cried on the way there, on the way back, and then cried myself to sleep....every night....for 5 months straight. I thought for sure that my tears would run dry eventually but they would just come even more than the night before. His due date was the hardest night that I cried - December 7, 2008.

My 2009 New Year's Resolution was not to let anything stress me and not to live my life for other people and to be happy, for Jordan because if he were around that's what I would have to do.

My life took a complete 180 ...I was going to church regularly, found some church friends who I enjoyed hanging out with, and had no problems being alone anymore I was in a great place...or so I thought....