Merriam-Webster defines the word resilient as the following: an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change. In the first 5 minutes of last night’s game where OU played Kentucky, I got a funny feeling in my stomach. I thought, “oh come on girls, don’t revert back to old ways…play hard and smart.” The score became lopsided and Kentucky kept capitalizing on our errors. Finally, Coach Coale called a timeout when she’d had enough. She basically asked her team if they wanted to just go back to the bus and go home. It jolted her players…and her senior captain Amanda Thompson answered back in the huddle, “No Coach. Tell us what we need to do.” A couple of minutes later, Thompson leaped up and grabbed a rebound….shots began to fall and the switch had been flipped. It was like the seniors collectively told each other, “we’re not done playing yet” and they were off. We got back to within a few points….then we tied….then we led and never looked back. It was soon the end of the game and I sat staring at the tv, saying to myself, “Holy crap…they’re going to the Final Four.” Back up a few days to Sunday night…a friend of mine had called me after the end of the regional semifinal, suggesting we go to the Final Four. I told her, “whoa, we have to get through Tuesday yet…I’m only taking it one day at a time.”
As I write this, it’s Wednesday night…..I had a hard time getting to sleep last night, reliving the events of the evening. I kept saying to myself, “they’re going to the Final Four. They’re going to my hometown…” After encouragement from people at work, it was decided….I was going. In a post-game conference, Coach Coale was asked what happened to create the surge in the team. She simply described her team as you guessed it, resilient. “They just find a way to win,” said Coale. Yes, they certainly do…and like finding a way to win….I found a way to keep watching them.