When I was in high school I was fortunate to be part of a fairly successful basketball team. We were greatly supported by the school, the community and of course the families of all the players.
While I have great memories of those days one of my most vivid memories of this time, however, is not a very pleasant one.
When the games were over and you finished showering there were two separate stairways that led out of the locker room. One stairway led back up into the gymnasium and into a school hallway where parents and fans often waited to visit with the players after the game. The other stairway led directly to the outside.
I remember the first few home games of my junior year going up the steps with my teammates where they were greeted by their friends and parents and remember their fathers slapping everyone on the back and congratulating their sons for their efforts.
My father had passed away very suddenly during my freshman year. I remember feeling very left out and alone in those celebratory greetings of the players in the hallway because I didn’t have a dad that was there. At some point, I made the decision to leave the locker room via the stairway that led outside. It certainly was a lot easier and I didn’t have to deal with the emptiness I felt.
As I look back on my life I realize I have very often taken the “other stairway” to avoid dealing with any number of issues.
Over the years I’ve learned courage is about taking our challenges and difficulties head on. It may be uncomfortable at the time but it’s a lot better to face the dragon than have it always breathing fire at your heels. I’m getting better but I think I will always struggle with which stairway to take.
Which stairway do you take?
As always, I welcome your comments and your feedback! The stairway question is not rhetorical!
This post was originally published on May 16, 2014. I reposted it today in honor of Father’s Day.
Have a STRONG and COURAGEOUS day!