Sunday, January 15, 2017

Martin St. Louis - Retired Jersey Night

On a non-trad premed site, makes you wonder how the heck that's even relevant.  Right?

The organization retired MSL's jersey number on Friday night in a ceremony full of gloried videos showing the Lightning winning the coveted Stanley Cup in 2004, MSL hitting the backside of the net in double overtime against Calgary in Game 6 (in Calgary) to force a Game 7 back at home in Tampa.

When Tampa won the Cup, I was living in Minnesota, with an "individual" that's devoid of the term human.  He was from Calgary and in that vein, he was particularly angry with me when I cheered for the Bolts (always been a fan of underdogs - aren't we all?) and was forced to cheer for Calgary lest I feel his wrath.  Literally.

Fast forward 12 years, now a full season ticket holder for that club that beat the Flames, sitting close the ice, the memories for the fans were displayed.

The honors and accolades for this Martin St. Louis (Mar-Tawn Saint Louie) flooded everywhere.

People spoke, some joked, Stammer got a standing ovation (he's on long term injured reserve due to a torn meniscus and dear God of all things, please get him ready on time!).

Marty took the podium.  Chants from the rafters came loud, proud, and consistently:

"MARTY!"

"MARTY!"

He thanked the crowd and then thanked a plethora of individuals who'd impacted his career.

Then he got into his life.

How he made it to the NHL.  How he THRIVED and greatly succeeded in a league where smallish men are the water boys, not the Captains.

In talking about his late mother, this grown man openly wept.  19,092 people wept with him.  The raw emotion of what his mother meant to him not lost on anyone in the arena.

He laughed a little more, told a funny story and somewhat ended with this:

If you have a dream, don't let anyone tell you, you can't.  Because I'm telling you, you can with hard work, perseverance, determination and heart.

My eyes watered up again and my son put his arm around me, whispered, "See?  Even the great ones tell you the same thing. Don't stop, Mom, just don't stop."

At a hockey game, in my new home town, retiring the jersey number for a man whom I really never saw play, the message was clear.

Do. Not. Give. Up.

Thank you, Marty.

Not for the cup but for the wisdom, for your life's story about ignoring the haters and naysayers and showing them.

You showed them, Marty, you showed them!

----
To MY Bolts:

I have no idea what it's like to play in front of 19,000 people with the expectation that that silver trophy will come back to Tampa.

I have no idea what it's like to have people rant about you, your teammates, your coach online in forums, tweets, and newspaper pages. I do know they are wrong about all of that.

I have no idea what it's like to not know who will be playing next to you in the next game, or next shift and clearly, no idea how that lack of consistent chemistry relays into the game.

What I do know is this:

Life will ALWAYS give you a poopy hand at some point.  You guys have been decimated by injuries, penalties (deserved or often not).

Life will ALWAYS make you question yourselves and your path.

Marty didn't give up on his 2004 team, don't give up on yourselves.

WE, YOUR THUNDER, we believe. We believe even when things are shaky, uncertain, inconsistent.

Just like I believe in my path and my future, I believe in you.

Go out there and start the path to bringing that silver cup back into Amalie.

It looked pretty amazing on that platform, didn't it?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Those Professors of Mine

I'm blessed.  2016 is in the rear view mirror and like some bridges that need to be torched, 2016 as the 2nd worst year of my life, is in ashes.

Starting the new year off appropriately, I logged onto my local university's email system to find lots of spam from the bookstore AND...

an email from one of my professors.  Dr. E.

For those wandering and pondering the course through premed as a non-trad, I can only say, let the little things keep you afloat, the little emails that let you know people who've taught you, and walked with you, believe in you.  It's never the big things in life, it's always the little things.

Like an email.  :)

2017 is going to be great!