“Burrow”ing into the New Decade :: Choosing to Live Offensively

LSU is undefeated and we are the champions, my friends (insert loud cheering and Queen song playing in the background)!

At this point, it feels like Joe Burrow isn’t just LSU’s quarterback, he’s our nation’s quarterback.

I’m not here to talk about Burrow’s Heisman win, his cigar preferences, or even his butt (no matter how nice those are). I am here to tell you about how I’m burying 2019 and the past decade in general. They kicked my butt … my mama butt, my relationship butt, my work-life butt, figuratively, all of my butts …

BUT … they’re over!

As I was watching that historical championship, I recognized something very simple about life and how I can make 2020 not only my year but the starting point of an entirely new way of living.

You see, I recognized something about the way I’ve been living while watching our Tigahs win. Maybe how most of us have been living.

I’ve been living defensively when I really need to be living offensively.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a mama bear. If a group of ninjas comes to my home and decides to break in, they had better run. I’m going to protect my little ones, barricade the doors, and kick them back like I’m Chun Li from Street Fighter. I was also taught to drive defensively (do you even live in Baton Rouge if you haven’t slammed on your brakes on Siegen?). These are the times being defensive works for me.

If I think of my life as a football game, I’m in the 2nd quarter! I can be Burrow. I am the quarterback in this game, no matter how cheesy you may think I am for saying that. The main job of the quarterback is to be the leader of the offense, have a determined heart, call the plays, encourage the other teammates to play well, and to throw dat ball. Burrow has proven that he is a master quarterback this year; I watched him on that field and ESPN, his eyes were always focused on downfield. He rarely loses sight of downfield.

I believe that there is a lot of societal pressure to live defensively. We are told to proceed through life with caution – don’t color outside of the lines, don’t do this, don’t do that, you’re too much, stay average, keep a low profile, avoid love because you may get hurt, avoid risk because you may fail. We succumb to these beliefs and then project those onto others, we pass them to our children.

The defensive life (much like the defensive line) doesn’t play to win. It plays to not lose.

Metaphorically speaking, the defensive line is not proactive with thinking or plotting on the field, they’re really not in control. They are responding to threats through instinct, they are there to block the others from scoring.

For me, in this case, living defensively has caused me to consistently block myself from feeling like I’m worthy of good things happening to me. I’ve stopped myself from countless paths that could have been “field goals” or “touchdowns,” but the fear of failure has certainly kept me offsides.

Last year was emphatically difficult for me. My whole life has been incredibly strenuous. It’s caused me to be on the lookout for fires to put out. I was bitter about the huge obstacles I was forced to face  and I responded to these threats with negativity, tears, and hopelessness. I lost sight of downfield.

Living a defensive life is stressful and I can say this, the defensive line rarely scores any touchdowns.

I know I needed to welcome this new decade with open arms and ample reflection. It just didn’t hit home until this week, while watching Joe Burrow efficiently move through all obstacles of his 6 touchdowns to win the game.

In a football game, it takes 4 attempts to move the ball 10 yards before you have to turn it over to the other team. The offense has to decide whether to run or throw the ball. They have to be in the moment, know the defense can come at them from any side, and make a quick decision. They have to act and to continue to move toward the end zone. Even if they only move one yard, they don’t give up after one down. Most touchdowns don’t even happen in one play. Their quarterback leads them with intention. They are proactive.

I want to live offensively, I want to be the Burrow of myself, of my family (my team).

The defense will always be there. Their job is to block someone else from winning.

There will be naysayers, bullies, droughts, miscarriages, cancers, deaths, fake friends, cheaters, jealousies, toxic family members, negativity, and losses in this life and my future. Stumbling blocks are on everyone’s path, that’s just a fact, however sorrowful.

If I continue to live defensively, I’m facing the wrong way on the field.

I can’t see my goals and I cheat myself from touchdowns. If I continue a defensive life, I am in danger of becoming an obstruction in someone else’s game, possibly my children’s.

A championship depends on a strong offense.

According to my beliefs, the game is already won. So truly, it only matters how I play it.

In this new decade, I choose to anticipate change and obstacles. I choose to improve, to be willing to lead, and take risks. I choose to make as many attempts as it takes and I choose not to surrender on the first down. I choose to live in the moment, to bench any players that don’t have my back, I choose to keep trying, learning and plotting new “plays.” I choose to take a knee.

Playing in the game of life is a choice and it is mine. I choose to keep playing. I choose to look downfield.

Whatever happened in the first quarter, whatever mistakes I made, they don’t matter, because it’s over. The second quarter has begun, it’s on the clock, and it isn’t even half-time yet.

I am the quarterback of my life and so are you. I am a champion. I choose to bury the past and Burrow into my future.

 

heatherwestbrook
Heather is "Mom, Mama, Mommy" to her 15-year-old son Camiron, 8-year-old-son Owen, and 9-month-old baby Griffin. She was born in Eunice, Louisiana and has lived in New York, Alabama, and Lake Charles, Louisiana before settling in Baton Rouge 5 years ago. She is a Veteran of the U.S. Army and a former Flight Attendant who graduated from FAE in Orlando, Florida as Valedictorian of the program. Heather is employed at Willie's Restaurant on Coursey as a FOH Manager. Heather is a bibliophile who is obsessed with reading and a cosplayer whenever she can find the time, focusing on Comic Book Supheroes, Star Wars and Harry Potter. She loves to write, a true passion of hers. She also enjoys running, crocheting, and drinking coffee!

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