Everything You Need to Know About The Thrill of Victory
Tom Brady snagged another Super Bowl win at 43, making him the oldest and winningest NFL player of all time. Although Kansas City's 25-year-old quarterback, Patrick Mahomes was favored to win, he didn't score a single point against Tampa Bay's fierce defense.
And as a competitive equestrian for most of my life, I get it.
There's nothing like the feeling of entering the ring with a strong game plan and laser focus. Yet, in a galloping sport where the difference between failure and success can fall to the hands (hoofs) of a fight-or-flight animal, the best-laid plans depend on the horse you have that day -- not the one you wish you had.
Yes, even horses sometimes roll out of bed (hay) off their game.
Of course, it's not all up to the horse. You have to be able to ride. And great riding comes from years of dedication and practice. But so much of any sport takes place between your ears. The HBO two-part documentary, "Tiger" about the great Tiger Woods, talks about his amazing ability to compartmentalize. It made him a brilliant competitor albeit a not-so-great husband. Still, he pushed through unbearable pain and countless back surgeries. And he kept getting back on course.
In watching Brady land another Super Bowl win, it was clear to me that his experience trumped Mahomes's vigor. I'm sure a more seasoned football fan could wax on the details here. But what I saw was a competitor who didn't listen to the critics.
They said he was too old. They posited he couldn't replicate the magic he made under Coach Bill Belichick. They said a lot. But his actions spoke louder.
Even on the sidelines, Brady was cheering on his defense. He lifts his teammates up. And with laser focus, he tunes out the chatter. He takes to the field with a job to do, and he simply gets it done.
At 39, Serena Williams is also kicking ass, currently competing in the Australian Open. She still had time to cheer on Brady, calling his performance, "amazing." She should know. Also, old for her sport, she won the 2017 Australian Open pregnant.
We're cheering on the champions this week. Whether old or young, at the top of your game or just starting out. We could all use some heroes right about now. Who are you rooting for?