I have been training real hard the past few days. I was in total inactivity over the summer, two full months of doing nothing. My summer was the definition of laziness. But of course that had to stop, and now here we are with all of these conditioning practices. As I write this I’ve had only six sessions, each an hour and a half long. I am demolished, totally spent.
I give up time for doing homework for going to practice and get in condition. It’s very hard, and I usually think to myself “Dude why don’t you just go home?” All those jumping, running, squatting, skipping drills, as simple as they look, leave you amazingly tired. I get home and I can’t reward myself with a nap because I have to do some chemistry problems and read some economics and short stories, just as I learn a new verb conjugation in French.
You are all wondering why I’m telling you this. Well it’s because the pain of regret really does hurt more than the pain of hard work. Last year, my school lost the championship to our lifelong rivals. That was not the first time I lost against those guys. I am actually in a 3 game losing streak on Finals games against them. That’s right, they’ve taken the trophy and the gold medal away from me and my team for three straight years.
What pisses me off the most? My team is way better. I swear this is true, we’re better than them, simple as that. Still, they executed in a better way each possession of all those 3 games, and that is why they won.
So this time, more than 6 months before the tournament gets started, my team is practicing, and practicing hard. Because we’re not losing our fourth consecutive game against our rivals. Because we’re going to get to the final game, and we’re going to beat them by more than 20 points. This time we will not only have the talent, we will have the preparation. This time I will only experience the pain of hard work, I have no plans of getting even near to the pain of regret. Not for the fourth straight time, no.
And this is what the new era of Celtic basketball is all about. Preparation, a process, hard work to in the end, be able to win it all. Guys will work hard this year. They will feel the pain and they will think it’s not worth it. But then they’ll look up in the training facility: “What hurts more: the pain of hard work or the pain of regret?” They know the answer, so they’ll run one more mile, they’ll do 10 more bench presses, and they will shoot a 100 more shots. They will do it because the feeling that waits for a hard worker at the end of the road is worth every drop of sweat you left in the way.
The Celtics are entering a long, difficult process. But guided by Brad Stevens, Rajon Rondo, and dare I say Jared Sullinger, the end of the road looks incredibly successful for this team. They have the talent, the intelligence, and the abilities. Now, they begin a process to learn how to use them and maximize their benefit (hey, look I learned something in economics). The Celtics are not going to experience the pain of regret; Brad Stevens will not allow that. He and the entire team will all work hard so when they are looking up at Banner 18 being raised to the rafters, they will be glad they all suffered the pain of hard work.