I knew very little about Tim Howard up until this week. I’m not a huge fan of soccer, but had been paying enough attention to the World Cup to understand that I had to get to a bar around 4pm yesterday.
We went to Whole Foods; we’re real party animals. They have a nice inside/outside bar and are one of the few with GF beers.
Surprisingly, it was packed. I’m not sure whether they were all curious shoppers who’d simply forgotten game time or what, but, standing room only, here we all were.
Howard had the game of his life. If I could have bear-hugged him after several incredible saves I would have. I kept mumbling the whole time, “He’s gotta be the MVP!”
I was disappointed for the team, but mostly I was sad for my man, Howard. He was in the zone 100+%, but, unfortunately, sometimes it’s just not enough.
I’m sure he has no regrets, and that’s all you can ask for I suppose.
This morning I read an amazing huffpost article about Howard’s Tourette’s syndrome.
He is so Zen in his attitude about soccer and life; I instantly liked him more.
He doesn’t ride the emotional roller coaster many athletes struggle with. Instead, he has learned to forget what has just transpired in order to not beat himself up or get too confident between shots.
“I think it’s something you learn over time,” Howard said. “I don’t let things sit with me now, whether they’re good or bad. I could care less. I move on. But as a young goalkeeper, that’s the hard part because it could eat away at you. I think it destroys a lot of young goalkeepers.”
As you could probably imagine, the bigger the game, the bigger the stress, the more frequent and intense the tics. Howard manages his tics through meditation. Not in the classical sense, he says; instead he just closes his eyes and collects himself.
When the ball is far away, he lets the tics fire, but when the ball nears it’s almost as if a switch is flipped and his focus outweighs the syndrome. His muscles relax and obey his intuition.
Howard has gotten a lot of shit over the years. The UK fans and media have been pretty brutal. His attitude is cool as a cucumber; he just ignores it.
So, basically, he remains present, doesn’t ride his emotions, allows his body to do what it needs to do without trying to chase it away with drugs or other force; he’s honest and authentic, ignores criticism, is humbled by praise, and he’s handsome.
I’d say he’s a winner in my book.
I leave you with this: I think we could all benefit from being a little more like Howard. Perhaps a little less ink, and maybe not quite as handsome, but we could certainly stand to “let go” more and make shit happen. Like a boss.