I’ve said multiple times how sports are a great metaphor for life. My favorite sporting event and time of the year is March Madness with college basketball and as I’ve begun watching conference tournament games I’m reminded how this is the perfect analogy for life.
March Madness shows us the range of emotions: the highest of high and lowest of lows. The goal is to survive and advance. I had the same goal throughout my cancer treatment: survive and move on to the next stage or treatment or surgery.
I went through the highest of highs and lowest of lows. Expecting another child is always an exciting time. With Bryce we were full of nerves early on in the pregnancy as I had two inconclusive blood tests and needed an amniocentesis to see if the baby was ok. Thankfully we got the results we were hoping for and he was fine. It’s like bubble teams on Selection Sunday hoping to get the good news waiting as each team in the tournament is revealed.
It turns out I was the one who was not fine and that high of highs turned to the lowest of lows when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
It’s like winning a game followed by the end of a season or disappointing loss. In the tournament a team can be winning with only a few seconds left but have this high crushed by a last second shot or buzzer beater.
Teams miss out on the chance to make the “big dance”, a special opportunity especially for the smaller schools. We may miss out on a job or promotion or another special opportunity in life or we may earn or get lucky and have special opportunities throughout our life.
You never know what can happen with tournament games. Upsets happen all the time. Nothing is guaranteed and the same is true in life. We don’t know what each day will bring and just need to adjust and try to make it through the day successfully.
The seeds or what teams were left out of the tournament may seem unfair but life’s not fair. Fair is the place where a pig gets a prize, it’s not life. People around us may seemingly have things easier than us or seemed to have lucked out but that’s just life.
Things may look good and suddenly they fall apart or don’t go as planned. North Carolina, the preseason #1 won’t even make the tournament this year after reaching the championship last year and only losing one player from that team. I was healthy and in good shape and then I ended up with cancer. The tournament and college basketball season is full of many surprises just like life.
As I heard one announcer say this weekend “the madness of March can lift you but it can also crush you.” And that’s life. It’s full of ups and downs, highs and lows just like March Madness and the NCAA Tournament. How we respond to these ups and downs helps us get through life and the victories and defeats. We need to be prepared for anything because we never know what each day will bring just as we never know what March will bring other than madness and some thrilling college basketball!
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