9/4/17 - Unfiltered Commitment: Cockpits & Huddles
**DEUCE Gym is closed today, Monday Sept. 4th, in observance of Labor Day**
While trying to keep it together, I found myself trying to explain away my tears. I felt like I held it together pretty well. After all, I wasn’t sobbing or anything. It’s not the first time, either. Yesterday I found myself getting a little extra emotional during pre-game at the Texas A&M football game. Let’s just say, I’m a sucker for fly overs.
I’m also a sucker to entrances into arenas by way of a tunnel. Whether it’s football or boxing, the details rarely matter. Watching a person or a team, willfully walk into an arena they’ve prepared with a total human effort for gets me every time.
As I stood there feeling equally impactful emotions for both teams’ entrance into the Rose Bowl, I could, at least, deduce that my tears were not motivated by my adornment for a team I was a fan boy of. This was coming from somewhere else.
Finally it hit me. I’m a sucker for effort. The effort of the game is beside the point. The act of flying a plane over a stadium as a standard training exercise isn’t the effort that brings me the chills or the tears. This charging out of a tunnel and flying jets over a field-of-play are symbolic. I realized today that I can’t “unknow” the work that comes before the tunnel. I’m too aware of the commitment that gets the pilot in that cockpit. In both cases, it’s simple. All it takes is everything they have.
There’s a certain commitment, often in team sport athletics and the military, that comes in such earnest that it is free of regulation or safety nets. This commitment is completely vulnerable. It has to be, in fact, in order to have a chance at peak performance. This, of course, doesn’t discount the courage it takes to pursue it.
I guess, now that I think of it, maybe the real cause for tears should to be the need for extreme cases to witness this type of unfiltered commitment. We should shed a tear at how little often we get to witness this. How tragic is it that fully expressed commitment, without a hedged bet, must come from the cockpit of a fighter jet or in the huddle of a band of football brothers?