JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 6 – YOGA DAY 174 :: reaching the summitt

28 Jun

Day 174: Winning.

“I met her once.”

That’s what’s been in my head all day as I have watched the memorials pour out over the internet and social media for Pat Head Summitt.

She was a pioneer. The winningest coach ever. Intensely successful.

I was a pioneer when I met her. A Smith College Pioneer. Pat was to accept an award on the Smith Campus. I was the student picked to introduce her at the faculty luncheon in the private faculty building overlooking Paradise Pond.

I wasn’t picked because of my game scoring records (I barely had one) or my presence on the college court (more like the bench). I was picked because I was in the right place at the right time. And I intensely loved basketball and women’s sports.

Which was why was I was scared shitless. Of her. THE one and only Pat Summitt. A living legend then, almost twenty years ago. I was also scared of messing up. In front of HER. The living legend who was gracing the Smith College campus.

I practiced and practiced and practiced my speech. I probably worked harder on that speech than any term paper that semester. And on the day of the big introduction of Pat Head Summitt it all went by in a nanosecond. A blur. I didn’t mess up. It went without a hitch. Then I shook her hand. I SHOOK HER HAND!!! And, in an instant, it was over.

It’s an amazing legacy she leaves. One of strength and elegance. Determination and grace. Winningest path paved. Inspiration for a generation of little girls and a lifetime of women’s sports. She has now reached the ultimate summit. But leaves in her absence an incredible presence. And in my mind, an incredible gift.

I met her once.
And in that instance she made me do great.
Even if it was for a nanosecond.

I suppose that’s a practice she would be proud of. Making every nanosecond count. Whether it’s in life, work, school, on the court (or in the yoga studio).

Thank you, Pat.
For your life, your presence, your work, your mission.
Your inspiration.

More tomorrow.

{reaching the summitt}

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