Sunday, November 15, 2009
What a Day for Yuna and Michelle!
Straight off the bat, two of my favorite sporting figures won today. Yuna Kim, the figure skater, won Skate America with a world-record performance in the short program and then a disastrous (for her) skate in the long. But the combined score was still 13 points greater than the second place finisher. And Michelle Wie finally won her first title on the LPGA Tour through all the noise and criticism of her detractors. How do I tie these two together?
Yuna has been on top of the world for quite some time now, certainly since last March when she won the World Championships for the first time. Since then, the media and her fans have placed a 100,000-pound paperweight on her shoulders called "PRESSURE". Today she succumbed to it. But still she smiled for the cameras during the interview. Good for her. As I have learned all too well in the past six years, you learn so much more from your mistakes than you do from your triumphs. Victory is great but it doesn't force you to reflect. To look at yourself in the mirror and ask what it takes to make yourself stronger and happier.
Michelle, after having won a USGA title at the age of 13, would find herself winless for six years. Until today. What a monkey she gets to hurl off her shoulders. So many people derided her as a fluke, a fake and even a floozy. (People say the stupidest things on the message boards.) But still she trudged on, and now, at the ripe old age of 19, she has a win on the most competitive tour for women in the world. And she beat the top-30 players on the money list doing so. Tuning everyone else out. Ignoring the crap. About how you ruined your life and are not worthy of love. And that's what Yuna needs to do today--let this loss go and not let it block her energy. And just like Michelle, she'll find herself in a better place tomorrow.