Larry Banman: Nothing changes a bad situation like a good attitude
February 18, 2008
Tennis professional Andre Agassi told us in a 1990s Canon commercial that, “Image is Everything.”
I never bought into that concept and I would like to propose that, more than image, “Attitude is Everything.”
It has been a tough winter. We have had snow, cold weather and wind in abundance. The realization that the snow will manifest itself in spring runoff and plenty of water for the summer is comforting. Nonetheless, most of us are doing a little grousing about shoveling snow, fighting drifts and slipping on the ice.
Over the past two weeks, I have been part of a group that has been victimized twice by the weather and travel limitations.
The West Grand High School basketball teams have been true road warriors this season, playing 13 games on the road and five at home. On Thursday, Feb. 7, the basketball teams were stranded in Walden, as all roads out of town were closed, primarily due to blowing snow and horrible visibility. All of the fans and parents made it home safely, but the school bus was the last vehicle out of town and it was turned around at the scene of an accident 6 miles south of Walden.
This past weekend, as the teams were traveling through Glenwood Springs, word came that the road through the Glenwood Springs canyon was closed due to a semi-truck accident. After waiting a few hours with no real guarantee of when the road would reopen, the decision was made to travel the circuitous route through Rifle, Meeker, Craig and Steamboat Springs. The clock rolled over to 3:39 a.m. when my head finally hit the pillow in Kremmling.
Similar situations. Neither time was anyone in imminent danger and, in both instances, the students and sponsors made the absolute best of the unplanned.
Plans had to be altered or cancelled. There was certainly a degree of discomfort and, perhaps most significantly, control of a situation was removed from people (head basketball coaches) who love to control everything.
Breaking it down to my personal level, I found myself feeling miserable during the overnight stay in Walden. Conversely, I actually enjoyed the delay and long travel through much of northwest Colorado on Saturday. The reason is very simple, my attitude had taken a 180 degree turn. It was all a matter of perspective.
In Walden, I couldn’t get past the self-pity hurdle and, by my own admission, I was miserable to be around. In looking back, I wasn’t too pleased with my performance. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t go out of my way to make anybody else’s life unhappy and I provided all of the supervision that was required. I just couldn’t help thinking about all off the things that I wished were better.
After thinking about what a grump I had been, I spent the week mending fences. I realized that the person most responsible for my misery was the person who peers back at me from my mirror. By the time we got to last weekend, I had adopted a new attitude. We played a couple of tough games against very tough competition. We faced a long ride home, but I realized I was no longer in the Land of Self-Pity. When we were informed about the accident and the possible delay, I was not shaken. As a group of sponsors, we quickly came up with a plan and we made the best of could have been a miserable situation.
It was a lesson I had learned before but, apparently, it is never too late to be a student of life. A decent attitude can change your whole perspective of life.
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