Last week we had a Sabakiball league game in Arizona. It is the second game we’ve played since the lockdown rules have relaxed, and it feels so great to be together again. The inventor of Sabakiball, Michael Cerpok, found out earlier in the week that he must begin Cancer treatments again – the fifth round in his 13-year battle with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. This devastating news did not stop him from coming onto the field and enjoying himself. Instead of letting fear and despair take hold, he takes every opportunity to enjoy life and be with his Sabakiball “family”.
This same group of league players just recently lost one of our Sabakiball “family” members unexpectedly. She was a parent to a couple of our long-time players. The whole family has been involved with Sabakiball for over eight years. The players who started when they were children are now both adults. Throughout the years, both parents came to every game and contributed by coaching, cleaning up, keeping score, helping run special programs, and recruiting other players. By far, this family has had the most impact on Sabakiball! They epitomize the qualities Sabakiball looks for in its sports community – love, support, contribution, fair play and caring. Even with this loss that saddens all of us greatly, the family is still on the field every game living life and being with those who support them in this heartbreaking time.
2020 has certainly brought into everyone’s lives tragedy, uncertainty, and fear. The stories that make news are sensationalized, stoking the fires of outrage and anxiety within us all. But looking around my community I see such inspiration! These two examples that just happened in the last month are REAL people, REAL situations. We don’t hear about them in the news because this is LIFE. Tragedy happens. Heartbreak happens. Loss happens. The inspiration comes in when we choose to continue with happiness.
Inspiration is around us every day, everywhere. Supporting each other. Giving to others to help, not to gain recognition. Reaching out to engage someone who has withdrawn. Embracing life’s ups and downs even when we are down. Open your eyes and look around! Let those who inspire you just by BEING HUMAN, like these two heroic situations above, know what their actions and example means to you. Let them know you recognize their strength and honor. INSPIRATION…PASS IT ON.