Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 37 - SUPPORT BRA a story for all men

Now with a title like this you may think this is just for women, actually it's for all the men who have women in their lives.  So men, have faith, and keep on reading.  I believe that people grow throughout their lives.  Some people grow faster than others or differently than others.  The struggle with relationships is to grow individually...together.  I look at it [clearly from a women's point of view] that if a man loves fishing and I mean really loooooves fishing and isn't using it for an excuse to "get away" from the family or his partner than the partner should support it. My love is basketball and becoming an official allowed me to pursue the dream of still being part of something bigger than myself. I started late in life as a basketball official.  Most referees are groomed right after college.  At thirty-six, I was fourteen years behind right out of the gate.  I decided after only doing games at the YMCA, that I wanted to learn how to do it right and signed up for SEC camp.

Fox 40 Whistle - only for Basketball
What most people don't know is at these basketball camps, the teams pay an entrance fee averaging $375, and the fans pay to attend each of the games and the assignor of officials is paid $20 per referee per game.  So at $60 game and an average of 16-20 games happening at different venues every ninety minutes, the assignor can walk away with $20,000 at MINIMUM for each camp.  The referees then PAY the assignor for the privilege of working and "being seen" by the assignor an average of $500 each.  At 200 average referee campers, this is an additional $10,000.  Yes that's right the referee pays to referee and have fans scream at them ~ludicrous!  It's clearly a rip off for referees.  So the first camp I attended, I realized that I had never done what we call 3-person officiating.  I had only worked at the YMCA doing 2-person.  I wasn't even a certified high-school referee yet.  During the orientation meeting I began to get increasingly nervous.

I remember calling home to my husband after the first night and saying, "I don't think I can do this."  He responded with the most loving thing I could have ever heard. "Remember what you told me when I went to firefighter school and called you after the first day and said I don't think I can do this, I'm in way over my head?"  I said, "No."  He said, "I'm going to tell you the same thing you told me.  Sleep on it and get back up in the morning and just do it, I know you can."  And that is exactly what I did.  There is nothing like someone else having belief in you and your dream.  The support is better than the best bra.  No bra can support us like that!

After officiating at Duke, my first major achievement, the next milestone in my career is receiving the call to officiate the scrimmages of the WNBA players who made up the USA Olympic Womens Team. They were coming to town to practice before the Olympics.  I hung up with the assignor who had called me at work and screamed as I ran out of the office and through the parking lot.  Screaming and jumping with joy.  WOW, it was like officiating the WNBA All-star game as you had all the heavy-hitters on one court.  I was told, no autographs, no photos, no cameras, no sharpies, no nothing.  I shyly asked, "Can I bring my husband?"  He had just had knee surgery and the assignor asked me, "Can he play, they need men to play against?"  I said, normally he could but he's on crutches right now.  The assignor said yes begrudgingly but Thank God he knew me or my husband wouldn't have been able to share in this next triumph of my avocation. Just being there when a milestone occurs in your career is HUGE!

Over the years, that support faded which came to a head when I had finally made it to the High School State Final after only six years.  Some officials NEVER get to officiate a state tournament game. I was so excited, I asked my husband if he was going to come to the game as it was to be held on a weekday around noonish.  He had over twenty-one vacation days accumulated at work so I knew it should not have been a problem.  He said at first, "He would have to check his schedule."  As an indirect communicator, this was his way of telling me no.  I was shocked and very very sad.  The man who had started this dream with me had stopped running the marathon early in the race.  I was to finish this race alone.  I took off from work and heard from "T."  She also had been selected to officiate her second state final.  We went together.

I never finished the race but had many many wonderful times with friends I'm sure you'll hear about in later blogs but not achieving the ultimate goal of officiating Division 1 games was one of the few goals I didn't reach.  At first I beat myself up and the system up pretty bad.  I've now come to realize that it wasn't my time.  Remember luck isn't luck, it's when preparation meets opportunity.  I had always been prepared but my opportunity never came.  Nor was I lucky.  As women when we have a passion, we need support at the beginning, in the middle and in the end. Sometimes if the bra gets old and worn to the point that it doesn't support our dreams, we need to buy a new one.

I heard a song today that made me feel better about the journey even though the dream has come to an end.  The title is Its Who You Are by AJ Michalka. The right thing to do is to realize the journey not the goal defines us.  It is what makes us who we are. There is no better way for a woman to show the men in her family what a woman really is than by following her dream. So the next time the man in your life wants to go fishing, or golfing, or whatever other passion he dreams to achieve, offer to go with him.  He may or may not take you up on the offer of your support but always remember if it's what he loves to do, it is who he is.

Its Who you Are - AJ Michalka     Click here to hear the song.


It's not the price
It's not the game
It's not the score
It's not the fame
Whatever road looks way too far
It's not what you have
It's who you are

It's not how fast
It's not how far
It's not of cheers
It's who you are

In darkest night
You make your sun
You choose your race
And then you run

It's never the glory
It's never the score
It's not about seeing who's less and who's more
Cuz when you find out how fast and how far
You'll know it's not how much you have
It's who you are

You lose the moon
Then be a star
It's not too soon
Be who you are
Whatever road looks way too far
It's not what you have
It's who you are


When you have found
How fast you can run
When you have found
Your place in the sun,
It won't be just you that you'll find
Has made the run and the climb
It's everyone

Learning to bend and not to break
Living to give more than you take
Dying to live
Living to try
Feet on the ground
Dreams in the sky

It's never how much you have
It's who you are

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