In a quest to better understand the homeless situation actor Richard Gere posed as a street bum for a day. A noble act that continued with him giving money to the needy. It was the contrast of the story that attracted my attention… and our continued fascination with the “Zero to Hero” story-line. This sneaky emotional trick is repeated shamelessly on every talent show and THE standard plot line in movies and television. A little twist of the story line can be seen in sports advertising where our hero dresses up like a zero and “Surprise!”, they’re remarkably good. The old, slightly fat senior citizen can still play!
 
We’ve seen Ronaldo the footballer do it and we’re all been following the Uncle Drew saga. (the latest of which is posted below) We like this story soo much, that it’s repeatedly told, and it never gets old… it makes us happy. These stories have slotsdad clear contrast, with beginnings and ends, starts and finishes, rags to riches, Forest Gump, David vs. Goliath, Pretty Woman and of course the entire Rocky series.
 

 

 
But in actuality… the world is tough place. It’s a place where the “Zero to Hero” rarely, if ever occurs. We all get knocked down, just ask Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey, and who can forget the iconic ring calls of… “Down Does Foreman”, “Down Goes Ali” or “Down goes Frazier.”, as heroes dramatically tumble from invincibility. The point is: we all get knocked down, both the Hero and the Zero.

 

 
Early media tricked us with “Linsanity”… but when we dug beneath the surface the true story came out. In sports as with most things the truth is hard work and setbacks. Lots and lots of setbacks….lots of hard work. It’s never easy, as athletic journeys are trials of dedication and commitment. “I’ll work at it 100%” you say, and then cite the 10 hour training days of Kobe, Nadal and Messi. These cats are top level professional athletes and they have the means to dedicate themselves to their sport completely. How about a fine dinner created by your own personal chef? A massage sir?
So we see the destination and we forget about the journey…fooled again. The fact is most of us have school, jobs, families, and all sorts of other commitments AND we’re an athlete.
 
So remember the early days, so pure… so honest. We did it for ourselves and improved rapidly. These are good times. Remember if you can. Those that continued, learned to love practice and hours blurred into weeks, months and years. It’s true that good basketball players can be born but the really great ones have been built and forged. Just because you have a “basketball body” or size 15 shoes doesn’t grant you an automatic ticket to the “Show” and basketball success. The playgrounds are littered with 6′ 4″ guys who jump through the roof but can’t shoot, dribble or play defense. I call them “Professional Dunkers”. A true aspiring athlete struggles, works and is continually improving their skills. They get injured and then they fight back through adversity one day at a time. This isn’t easy, but who said it would be?
 
I’ll leave you with a clip from “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” a story where the main character lives his life from old to young and our hero’s many journeys are beautifully condensed.
 
“I hope you make the best of it.” Benjamin Button
 

 
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