How Reggie Miller Inspires

Is it a bad thing to believe the best in the world?

I’m somebody who gets her hopes up ridiculously high about things. I always believe the best in people, and that anything is possible. I’m the one in the stands when the clock’s running down and my team is trailing saying “they can still win, Reggie Miller, miracles happen.” I’ve had people call me naïve for just about as long as I can remember.

Yesterday I was feeling a little down, wanting some company, someone to hang out and watch movies with.  A friend messaged me something along the lines of “I’m on my way.” It seemed a little out of the blue but nonetheless I was happy and started getting ready to go out. About eight minutes later I get a “sorry, wrong person” reply. Needless to say I was disappointed and sad, especially because I hadn’t seen my friend in a while. Entirely my own fault, I had gotten my hopes up and excited without knowing for sure what was happening.

Honestly though, I’d rather put myself out there and be happy and excited about things that could happen even if they might not. I think that by putting myself out there and being open to things happening, whether they turn out in my favour or not, eventually leads to good things. It hurts a lot of the time sure, facing disappointment time and time again. Before finally getting my license I failed my practical driving test six times. After every single one I would break down in the car ride home, throw myself onto my bed in tears upon arriving home and be inconsolable for most of the day. But I’d know that the only thing to do would be to get up, wipe the tears away and book another test. It was (to me anyway) soul crushing to fail each time, and it only got worse in the later ones as I’d get my hopes up, feeling confident only to freeze up in the car and be heading back to the licensing centre after 15 minutes (Once I reversed the car into a pole. That time I was driving back to the Kelmscott driving centre in tears. ) But the stars aligned, I was calm, collected and drove like a pro, and I passed and boy was that the most amazing feeling in the world.

Having all that pain and disappointment finally pay off and produce a feeling of pride and accomplishment to me just reinforces the idea that anything worth having is hard work. One of the reasons I love sports so much is that I know on any given day, anything can happen. The ’95 Pacers can be down by six against one of their most hated rivals with 18.7 seconds left in game one of the Finals then along comes Reggie Miller and his eight points in 8.9 seconds and suddenly Indiana has stolen the win from the Knicks. Miller’s battles with the Knicks are widely documented, there’s a brilliant ESPN 30 for 30 piece “Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. the New York Knicks” about it that gives me chills every time I watch it. One man defying expectations, not letting the odds count for anything.

It’s an unpredictability that is heartbreaking almost all of the time, coming so close and then missing on the final buzzer. That heart wrenching failure is so unbelievably motivating however, that it drives people to keep going and succeed where they had come so close in the past. It’s Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd who had done just about everything an NBA player could having to overcome not only the most talked about basketball team in recent memory but also their own play-off failures to finally win that Larry O’Brien Trophy (I was in tears watching that final game, knowing that two of the greatest players to never have won a championship had just done so, and against LeBron and the Heat). It’s Perth Glory leading for 80 minutes and then conceding two goals.

It’s believing that anything is possible, that no matter how hard the road is there will be light at the end of it. Getting my hopes up about everything is just who I am, it’s my curse as a sport-obsessive and it leaks into every part of my life. When someone tells me there’s no way something could happen, I want to prove them wrong and say there’s still a chance. Someone tells me I can’t do something, I want to show them I can. Whenever I’m faced with something difficult, and the odds are against me I say to myself: Reggie Miller.

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