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I don’t know if it was the snow that my area saw this past week or if it’s the way the holiday season reminds of my childhood, but this morning I woke up and decided to flashback to one of my favorite underdog sports films from my younger years.

The Mighty Ducks, starring Emilio Estevez, is about a hot-shot lawyer who is sentenced to community service in the form of coaching a peewee hockey team as a result of multiple DUI charges. The team he is paired with is a mid-1990’s version of the Bad News Bears….on ice. As a child, I identified with the team’s “underdog-ness” while paying little attention to the struggles that Estevez’s character, Gordon Bombay, had experienced.

Gordon Bombay was an all-star peewee hockey player who carried the expectation of success, a burden that was bestowed on him mostly by his coach. Unfortunately for Bombay, the guilt of not living up to that expectation was even heavier when he misses the winning goal, causing his team to lose the game. When Bombay returns to coach, he is given a second chance to over come his failures and be reunited with his passion for the game.

Although I never missed the winning goal in a peewee hockey championship game, as an adult I can identify with having a “second chance” at past failures. There are several interests I pursued in my younger years which yielded unsuccessful attempts of achieving my dreams. Looking back on those attempts can be pretty painful at times, but the pain from those experiences shouldn’t outweigh my determination to pursue my dreams AND most importantly, enjoy the process.

As we approach a new year, the old adage rings true “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” What pursuits have you put on the shelf due to your perceived failure? One of mine is becoming a freelance writer. We’ll see what the new year brings. Here’s to second chances.

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