Saturday night when I sat down to jot some thoughts down and watch/listen to the television, I thought maybe we’d catch up on The Flash a witty superhero series whose speedy protagonist spends his day doing the right thing and saving all in need. Or maybe we’d sit through New Girl, a well-written romantic comedy full of hilarious moments. Instead we flipped over to a basketball game…ah, sports, the true reason we still have cable…and thank goodness we do because the game we watched, was the ACC Tournament championship between Georgia Tech and Florida state.
It was a big deal.
While half-watching and mainly listening, I stopped typing when I heard a clip of Georgia Tech Head Coach – and ever-positive – Josh Pastner’s outgoing voicemail being played on national TV:
Life is short. We spend so much time sweating the small stuff. Worrying, wishing, wanting, waiting for something bigger…instead of focusing on the simple blessings that surround us every day. Life is so fragile. And it takes a single moment to change everything you take for granted. Focus on what’s important and be grateful. Live your life with no regrets. I’m not in right now, but if you leave your name and telephone number clearly, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Have a great day, a positive day, and a day filled with gratitude.”Josh Pastner – GA Tech Basketball Coach
The discussion of Pastner’s unflappable, optimistic character continued and the announcers said that in year unmatched by any other, it was obvious Coach Pastner’s focus was on gratitude, teamwork, and mindset.
In just those few recorded sentences, it was as if Josh Pastner was sending out a press release to the world…or anyone who called…to let them know he was in their corner…that life is good and gratitude is guiding. His words were sincere, hopeful and kind and harnessed me for a minute. This line especially:
We spend so much time sweating the small stuff.
I thought about earlier in the day when I was bathing the dogs and the moment they stop, look at the world and shake off the excess water weighing them down.
This soggy memory made me think of the minutia that weighs us down: the unmade beds, homework, eating too many carbs, working too much or not enough, playing time in high school sports, the list goes on and on. Perhaps if we focus on what we’re grateful for and shake all our worries away like Lola is shaking off the bath water, perhaps little droplets of joy will surround us.
Pastner’s motivating monologue is what we all needed to hear – in fact, in an interview after the game, when asked about his outgoing message, he said a lot of people call him hoping he doesn’t pick up, just so they can hear the message.
Georgia Tech went on to defeat Florida State 80-75 and win the ACC championship, securing an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament, a title they have not seen since 1993.
After this win, Pastner, in true character went on to thank and praise the FSU coach, players, his own team, and said he loves them all. When asked about his faith he said, “Everything is a gift…it’s a blessing. I recognize that. I don’t believe God is rooting for winning or losing. Sometimes you have opportunities in life, but you’ve got to give the good Lord the credit.”
An incredibly likable, self-depracting guy, Pastner talked about how he pays little attention to the fact that his shoes are old or he hasn’t cut his hair in months – maybe even a good luck charm he ponders. “It might be cool to be me because I’m so uncool.”
True. He is cool.
Turns out watching the Georgia Tech Basketball game was the perfect combination of superhero and wit. I’ll always think of Coach Pastner as “The Kindness Superhero, making the world a better place one phone call at a time.”
On Faith and Fitness –
Time to plant flowers if you’re in the south, if not, walk yourself, your dogs, your neighbor. Just walk and tell someone you love them.