“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
–Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
Athletes! We all love them.
Some become huge stars. We give them high praise. We put them on pedestals. And we swarm to them after every game.
That is, until they do or say things to make us ”hate” them. That’s when we began tarnishing their name and everything they’ve accomplished.
If you have been keeping up with the sports world these past two (2) years, you’re familiar with Hope Solo.
Just in case you’ve been living under a rock. Here are a few facts about the best Keeper in the world.
Hope Solo is the Goal Keeper for the USWNT (soccer). She’s very confident, highly competitive, has a splendiferous name, and speaks her mind.
Oh, and to just about every guy’s notion, Hope Solo is the hottest thing moving.
Nevertheless, over the past six (6) years there have been a few ”controversies” involving Hope Solo. Or, what I like to call, disagreements. However presented, they’ve shed a negative light on her character. Many are repulsive and bleak.
We all know that Hope Solo is a headstrong and straight forward individual. She has very strong opinions and never tries to sugarcoat them. The people who ”hate” her are most likely unable to handle her direct honesty.
Many, often, disagree with Hope Solo’s opinions and the choices she make off the field. Surely, most of us say and do a lot of things others don’t agree with. The difference here is our personal lives go unreported. No cameras in our face. No reporters questioning our mistakes. And there’s no national spotlight shining down on our every move.
People get so frustrated by Solo’s ”antics” and overlook an important aspect of her stardom. That is, she’s a great athlete playing a beautiful game that she and her teammates made plenty of us love. Hope Solo does not have to adapt to the media, critics, or followers. Solo didn’t choose them. They chose her. They ought to adjust their expectations or move on to some one else. Very simple.
Moral of this concise story?
Stop looking for Hope Solo to divert from who she is and what she stands for. Stop nip-picking at every event in her life, good or bad. Lastly, stop crucifying Hope Solo for mistakes of yesterday that have served as lessons today.
We cannot request perfection from others and be ourselves flawed.
Despite the distractions, Hope Solo remains a winner on the field and that’s the objective for any champion, win. Character is not inscribed into championships. Ask Kobe Bryant, Serena Williams or Tiger Woods. They are all greats in their respective sports. The greatness in which they possess did not come from conforming to others, but by hard work and staying true to themselves. And Hope is true to being Solo.
We all fell in love with Hope Solo the player. Her character was obscure. If we stop fantasizing for a minute we’ll see that off the field Hope Solo is a human being. Like the rest of us, she’s going through the motions of life.