First Place

Good morning, Cuddlers!

For years now Striker has been battling me to running races. He has a certain meow and body language that indicates he wants to race. Striker learned early on that he will always be in first place! My human legs can’t compete with the quickness of a cat’s take-off and speed. I think Striker enjoys being in first place, and he is sweet enough to let me congratulate him on his first place finish every time. What a sweetie, right?

I usually write the blog a few days before Sunday, but this week I’m writing Saturday night as I wind down from a full weekend. Between the excitement of the Cubs in the World Series and the yearly tradition of going to homecoming at the University of Illinois, I found myself a pretty busy “cheerleader” trying to root my teams to victory.

As I type this the Cubs are struggling in Game 4 of the World Series. Insert worried face of millions of fans here…and insert various comments about trying to end the drought of being World Series Champions since 1908.

140 miles south of Chicago, thousands of Fighting Illini fans tried to keep a positive attitude for our “dear ol’ Illini” as they work on rebuilding the football program. We lost the homecoming game (but the alums still had a great time). Former NFL coach, Lovie Smith, is supposed to be the answer to bringing the program back to Championship-level status…we hope.

This made me wonder about the thrill of victory…and the agony of defeat. I don’t really want to think about the time when Striker won’t be in first place anymore, because that will mean he’s aging. And, as a sports fan, I always want my team to win. However, perhaps the victory isn’t always in the final product of winning first place, or waving that championship banner. Perhaps we can find the victory in the stories that inspire us along the way or the memories created by having this common bond. Striker’s inspiration is probably to get my attention or make me laugh. What inspiration can we find when our sports team, or individual athlete, isn’t in first place? When the defeat first happens, and the emotions are still too raw, it’s pretty difficult to find the goodness in the defeat. It may take years to have a different perspective.

It’s fun to be in first place. It’s fun to cheer and have that feeling of victory and a sense of pride in your team. This week I hope to remind myself of the victories found in “2nd place finishes.” Except that I want Striker to keep his first place status in our one-on-one races for years to come.

Enjoy the cuddle!

“I’m in first place!”
“Good race…high-five!”
“Okay…you can pet me now.”
The Fighting Illini near the end zone.

6 thoughts on “First Place

  1. I definitely agree – especially as fans of both the Cubs and Illini, we’ve had to find other things to be happy about, things other than winning.


    1. Thank you, Aunt Karen! I’ve been working hard at seeing different perspectives. I’m nowhere near perfecting this, but I’m glad the practice of it shows in the blog entries.


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