Ever heard of Brittney Griner? I hadn't until just a few moments ago, as I was scouring the internet looking for something to move me. At first I thought this post might make this week a bit sports-heavy for some folks, but in sports, people find greatness, and Brittany Griner is truly great.
If you play any type of sport, you know the focus and energy it takes to perform well, and the enjoyment you obtain through participation. Practicing and playing a sport gives you an opportunity for constant improvement. Constant improvement in any endeavor brings confidence, and the kind of confidence you get through sport? Well, words fail me. I suggest you try it.
Brittney Griner is an exceptional human. Not because she is tall, or because she is an excellent basketball player. Not even because she is a Lesbian who came out at college while playing for a school that did not allow it. Griner is exceptional because she has found a way to be comfortable, even confident, in her own skin. She is a beauty, to be sure, and her skills on the court are unmatched. But you don't really understand her greatness until you hear her speak about her world view, what she is most proud of, and how hard she worked on herself so that she could move through the world with an open heart.
Brittney Griner is for the world.
After I read and listened to her interview on NPR, I went to Amazon and looked inside "In My Skin". The prologue knocked me out. The heart and compassion she has for the world is profound. What she has been through in order to get to where she is is nothing short of stunning. As a youth she went through painful, hard times due to her unique characteristics and abilities. She came out on the other side of it ready to heal humanity with her story.
Sports writer Dave Zirin compares her to LeBron James and Wilt Chamberlain. He says that she plays "with a kind of emancipated abandon." After reading the prologue in her book, I would have to say that she lives that way too.
I have decided to read the rest of this book as soon as possible. Reading about people who have found strength through struggle helps me to be bold, because I have struggled enough to know that it is engagement with the struggle that saves. Many people give up, or close down. But we all have a choice. We can choose to shrivel up and blow away like discarded trash, or we can puff out our chests, smile at the sky, and live with emancipated abandon.
Which sounds better to you?
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