From Dana's Guests

My Two Cents: Stuff Happens

Auguste Roc


I found myself bent over, sweating hard, breathing heavy, and trying to recover from the impact of the blow and the pain coming from my mouth.

I was dazed and there was blood on my lip, but worse, one of my front teeth was dangling loose.


I didn't see it coming. I didn't even see it coming.

I just ran into a block from one of the opposing players, and I never saw or heard it coming.

It was high school basketball practice. We were scrimmaging in preparation for the next game. Our coach's policy was that your playing time was dependent on how well and how hard you practiced leading up to the game and, this practice session was no different than any of the others. It was very intense and competitive -- we all wanted to be in the game and on the court. We all wanted playing time.

Coach asks us to pick up and defend the entire length of the floor. I tightly cover the opposing guard. I am draped all over him as he dribbled the ball up the court -- he is going to have to work for it!

We both wanted our playing time and we were going at it with everything we had.

I was relentless, forcing him to go left and then go right and then, out of no where, BANG! I ran full force into the elbow of one of the biggest players on the floor, leaving my tooth hanging by a nerve.

It's a memory that continues to inform my life.

I can recall, despite the pain and my dangling tooth, that I knew I needed to recover quickly; put this behind me and get back in the game. I wanted that playing time and an unforeseen obstacle was not going to stop me from getting it.

Before Coach could notice what had happened, I reached for my dangling tooth and I shoved it back in its place, wiped the blood from my mouth and -

I got right back on defense.

In life, sometimes even with the best laid plans, sometimes when you've got the noblest intentions -

Sometimes you just get blind sided; sometimes stuff just happens. You get hit by something that you didn't expect or someone does something that you could not have anticipated that threatens to rob you of your playing time; threatens to sideline you in your game.

When you find yourself blindsided, do what you've got to do to recover, and quickly. Stick your tooth back in, wipe the blood from your mouth and get back in the game.


continue to play defense without becoming defensive.

That's my two cents (for whatever it's worth),

Auguste Roc

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