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  • Jamie E. shared a letter in the Group logo of Current EventsCurrent Events group 2 weeks, 5 days ago

    The Tournament of Life

    As we are here at the US Open Finals weekend, I can’t help but see the similarities of the path through the bracket as it pertains to life in general. When you are born into this world where you land isn’t up to you. You could be seeded anywhere in life. Few are placed in top seeded environments while some others do get seeded but they’re somewhere in the middle while the vast majority of us go unseeded but you’re still in the game of life. Where we start in life can predetermine our odds but with that comes no guarantees that success is in your future. Each day can be a match where your expectations and the expectations of others might feel like today should be very successful with limited challenges to face. There are days where everything does work out for you and easy feels like a great day. Your next day may be projected the same way but you’re presented with unexpected roadblocks where you’re just not on point and life feels like you should be in play but your best efforts are landing out of bounds. Yet somehow you made it through even though in your mind you know your day should’ve felt like a walk over. Then as you advance on there’s a very significant test staring you right in your face and you know the night before you must be prepared or you may not win the day. The day is now here and you wake up ready to go full of confidence. I got this. I can do it. I believe in myself and my abilities. I’m going to win. Nothing and no one’s going to stop me from achieving my goal today. My clothes fit just right and look great. My shoe game is on point. My racquet grip is perfectly wrapped. Let’s play! Your start to this match is holding serve like the champion you are. Then you play on only to have your opponent give you that resistance. You planned for it. Here we go except this challenge turns out to bigger, faster and stronger than expected and now you find yourself down 2 sets. You battle back. The match is tied and momentum is behind you. You’ve fought to be points away from winning your game, your set, your match, your championship, your day but so has your opponent. You’re right where you want to be, where you expected to be and you can see the trophy being placed in your hands. Unfortunately, life hits you with an immediate back hand. You’re stunned. It’s now set point for your opposition. How can I recover? Oh, wait they’re ready to serve. I’m not ready and here comes the ball. I swing and…..
    How do you want this match to end? An ending that you hit the return on the serve and you won the point? You battled back. YOU WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP!!! What if they hit an ace and now the match is over. They outlasted you best effort. THEY won the championship!

    The point of my story is no matter where your seeded in life the journey is ultimately yours. You control the things you can control and let go of the things you can’t. Learn from your lessons that the game of life presents to you every day no matter if the path seems smooth or if the struggle is real. Everybody has a player’s box to looks towards for support through passion, inspiration, and the greatest support of all, Love. Some player’s boxes are bigger than others with all different members representing family, friends, and coaches. They’re behind you win or lose because they see all the work you put in and how much you care for your success, your sport, and for your loved ones but today maybe it wasn’t enough to declare victory on a scoreboard but you won your match in the game of life. Do you know why? Because while your journey started with a player’s box adding people along the way your daily performance has now established a following where your box now fits in a stadium. Within that stadium you now have an extension of your support system called fans. Fans of you because they too see a light within you that they want to be a part of even if it’s from a distance farther away than the ones closest to you. This is the part where I tie in the very platform to where this stadium stands and that’s The Unsealed. This community of fans are sitting in those very seats just outside your player’s box. We’re here in attendance to cheer you on through the ups and downs of your point, your set, your match of life. When you’ve fell to the court whether it be in defeat or in celebration, you’ll feel the energy of positive support here. There are no stories that can’t be told. There are no losers, only champions. Alone doesn’t exist here if you allow acceptance into your heart, mind and spirit. The tournament director, she’s very accommodating. No matter what round of your tournament you’re in there’s an open bracket for you and your seeding doesn’t matter. The tournament invites are unlimited and so is the seating. I feel I can speak for everyone and say that she can serve and volley kindness with anyone.

    As champions prepare to get crowned just remember there’s great stories to be told on both sides of the net. One trophy won’t define an entire lifetime but will be one of their most memorable days of their life. Treat people like the champions that they are. Like no scoreboard exists. We all can drop a game or a set but we also can be that fan in the seats giving a standing ovation. Let’s root for each other.

    If you need me, I’ll be there to meet you at the net to shake your hand.
    Have a great match today everyone!

    Your fan,

    Jamie Ellifritz
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