The Good Press — Issue #37: Resolve

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Hello and welcome to another edition of The Good Press, a newsletter of observations about life, sports, and/or anything else that comes to mind.

Thanks for reading. I hope you find this issue to be worth your time.

Comments and reader suggestions are always welcome.

It’s Wednesday, you know what that means.

Man jumps over a clearance from one cliff to another, departing from 2020 and landing on 2021
Image source: Getty Images

Resolve

Too often, New Year’s resolutions are a little too cliché and half-baked. Gym attendance will spike for a few weeks, then… back to the same old same old.

This year is different though. I don’t know if the world has ever collectively been more ready for a new year because 2020 can go kick rocks forever.

2020 taught us a lot.

We learned that “living in interesting times” is not all it’s cracked up to be.

We learned to appreciate the smallest of things that mean the world to us: the sound of someone’s voice, the shelter of a warm bed, a strong WiFi signal. So many things we never fully appreciated to the degree that we do now.

Regardless of whether people were living their best and brightest American dreams, few could’ve imagined the American nightmare that 2020 would be. So many people across the country and around the world have had their lives irreparably torn apart by the coronavirus. COVID-19 is a Thanos snap, and this isn’t a movie or a comic book ending. There’s no undoing the devastation.

Life is precious. Each day is a gift. Health is a blessing. Make your time count.

In Other Words

So many made their last New Year’s resolutions last year and didn’t know it.

It makes me want to make meaningful resolutions instead of half-baked ones:

I resolve to never forget the events of 2020; the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I resolve to do my best to be my best, even on the days I don’t feel my best.

I resolve to continue to live my life with love in my heart and to reject hate.

I resolve to stay aware and informed in our ever-evolving world, to always seek truth and speak truth to power; to never take a day off from learning.

I resolve to find the words when I can, to share them with The Good Press community for as many Wednesdays as I can muster in 2021 and beyond.

And yeah, yeah, yeah, I resolve to keep up with my physical fitness, too. Finding time to work out every day feels good, and I want to keep it rolling.

Resolve

re·solve /rəˈzälv/ verb

  • decide firmly on a course of action

re·solve /rəˈzälv/ noun

  • a firm determination to do something

Resolve is what we do when we declare resolutions to follow-through on. Resolve is what we show when we follow through on those resolutions.

We’ve made it to the final hours of this wretched year, and the truth is, the challenges we’re facing are not going to be resolved at the stroke of midnight. It’s going to take resolve to conquer these obstacles. We can’t just shrug our shoulders and let these resolutions be cliché and peter out before February.

The coronavirus doesn’t stop being a pandemic just because people get tired of social distancing and mask-wearing. It’ll still be a big part of our 2021 lives, so get used to it. Even with vaccinations helping to curb community spread, it won’t be an overnight process to end the pandemic as we currently know it.

We must stay vigilant and hold the fort for a few more months more and see what our country looks like after what is sure to be a dark winter for so many. With masks, distancing, and vaccinations, our summer can be much brighter.

This is the end of 2020, but it is not the end of COVID-19. Do not forget that.

Do all that you can to prevent the spread as much as you possibly can so that we can finally end this horrible war that has taken far too many casualties. Whether you or your loved ones are COVID survivors, or you’ve lost people this year, I implore you to not let anything that transpired this year be in vain.

May the memories of those we’ve lost be a blessing that lives forever.

May the struggles of 2020 be the kindling we need to spark our resilience.

May we never take the smallest of pleasures for granted ever again.

May we live the rest of our lives with humility, compassion, and gratitude.

Parting Thoughts

On January 26, 2020, the world lost Kobe Bryant, the Hall of Fame basketball player and Los Angeles Lakers legend, tragically dying at 41 in a nine-person helicopter crash, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.

It was unspeakably tragic, and it hit me like it hit many people all around the world. It was a tragic way to begin a year that was about to get a lot darker. But it wasn’t merely the fame or the fortune or the glory of athletic success that made people bawl their eyes out at losing an iconic figure of our times.

It was a husband and father, dying at 41 when he had so much more to give. That love that Kobe Bryant had for his family, his fans, for basketball, for life. Losing that love, losing that passion, having it extinguished too early was such a deep loss on January 26, even non-sports fans alike were moved.

Sadly, because 2020 is 2020 till the end, December 26 was a tragic bookend.

On December 26, 2020, the world lost Jon Huber, a professional wrestler and actor also known as Brodie Lee and Luke Harper, tragically dying at 41 of a non-COVID lung issue, leaving behind a wife and two young children.

Kobe Bryant was a Philadelphia kid turned Los Angeles legend, and one of the very best who ever worked his craft. Jon Huber was not quite as well known as a national figure but he, too, was deeply revered in his community.

Huber, a Rochester, NY native who wrestled for All Elite Wrestling as Mr. Brodie Lee and formerly in WWE as Luke Harper of The Wyatt Family, was a talented and workmanlike performer particularly loved and respected by his peers, for being an ever greater friend than he was as a pro’s pro in the ring.

Huber had the most successful year of his career in 2020 and had a Hall of Fame passion for his family, his craft, and his fans. He was very likely on his way to new heights in 2021. Instead, the final All Elite Wrestling show of 2020 will be a celebration-of-life tribute show to Brodie Lee, a cathartic event to honor the beloved husband, dad, friend, and wrestling champion.

I can’t explain why the deaths of Kobe Bryant and Jon Huber have hit me emotionally more so than other tragic sports/entertainer deaths have hit me. Maybe it’s the “dying young and leaving behind a devastated family” aspect that is something anybody can fear, a universal fear. To an Athlete Dying Young.

Maybe it’s because it reminds me of how fragile life can be sometimes.

Maybe it’s because of the health scares that my loved ones battle, too.

Maybe it’s because Jon Huber has the same name as I do. Or that it reminds me of a friend of mine named Jon, who died of cancer a few weeks shy of his 26th birthday back in 2012. He was a Jon H., too, from around the same region of the country as Jon Huber. My Jon H. graduated high school in 2004, right around the same time that Huber was getting his start in backyard and independent wrestling, before his eventual rise to the wrestling “big leagues.”

I just know that life is so precious, and for some reason, the best among us often don’t get to grow as old as it seems like they should. Full lives that feel too short, like they had so much more to give. It’s hard to understand why.

Maybe it’s not for us to understand. Maybe it’s for us to remember, to ensure that lives lived are known and loved far longer than they got to spend with us.

2020 is coming to an end, but we must resolve to never forget so much of what happened to the world and its citizens this year, so that future generations can understand what this most interesting year forced upon us.

I’m grateful that 2020 is nearly over, even symbolically, as the dark winter still howls come January. Symbolic fresh starts are something, and hopefully, a true post-pandemic fresh start for many is in the cards sometime in 2021.

Be kind to yourself and others. When this storm is over and we can return to a more normal way of life again, allow the harsh lessons we’ve learned to remind us of what we’ve endured so that the bonds that keep us together are never put in such peril again. I’ve often treated The Good Press as a journal of sorts, documenting the weeks that were over this unique period in history.

Perhaps in 2021, you can resolve to write your own journals of your own observations, documenting your “phoenix rising from the ashes” moments. Maybe you’re more of a photographer, or a videographer, or a painter, or a cook. As I wrote way back in April, fill in the negative space with your art.

Let’s resolve together to learn lessons from 2020 and make 2021 count.

Till next time,

-Jon

Previously in The Good Press

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The Good Press

The Good Press

a newsletter of observations about life, sports, and/or anything else that comes to mind