I’ve always enjoyed the holidays, it’s a time when I either travel to see more of my family or they come to see me.

This year was rough. When my sister brings her kids, if one of them is sick, usually all of us end up sick. As a general rule, I take pretty good care of myself. I take good vitamins and I consume lots of vitamin C in my food and beverages this time of year. However in spite of that, this year I got sick for a change. I did my best to enjoy the weekend as I could, but man that was hard with loud noises all around. Needless to say, I didn’t skip my nephew’s birthday party or anything.

In the midst of all that chaos, St. Mary’s held their girls Tip-Off Tournament. Due to some scheduling conflicts, Bruce Woitas had to add a different team to the line-up. The coach from New Century Academy brought his team to the two-day event. This team is on their second year of having a girls basketball program. Needless to say, it was a rough weekend for them, too.

In the midst of my fever-addled haze, I picked up on some things that impressed me all around.

Both of our Sleepy Eye teams treated New Century with respect and care. Our players gave them opportunities to learn on the court from what was happening to them. Both Bruce and coach Ryan Hulke talked to their teams about beginnings and remembering where you come from. When a new program starts, there are always growing pains, a learning curve, a time where you may lose many games, before you become good.

I have a lot of respect for our coaching staffs here in town and our players. It would have been easy to just steam roll this team, and take them for 200-0, if you really wanted to. The players themselves were glad to be playing and happy they got invited. Here’s hoping they can build a successful program in the next few years.

As I chug orange juice and try not to die over here, I thought about my own life, and life in general. Any time you start something new, even something you find you’re good at, you will have a period of time where you’ll do poorly. Other people that have done it longer, will be better than you. That’s part of the process and we should never get hung up there. The goal is to get better, to make the next level, whatever it is.

When I played little league baseball, I thought I had it going on until I got to high school baseball and learned I had a long way to go. When I enlisted in the Army, I thought because my uncle and I went hunting I was more than ready. I can tell you I learned the hard way.

Go try something new, just don’t focus on the cuts and bruises it will take to master it. On that note, I’m going back to bed. Have a great week.