20 Feb
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Less Than One Minute

less than one minute

It took just one minute from his night to utter one sentence to children he didn’t know. That one minute catapulted him to stardom in the eyes of my boys.

Five months ago, in September, we were leaving a University of Wyoming football game at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We were there to celebrate our oldest turning 11. We had prime seats, the Cowboys won and our 9-year-old had just been high-fived by UW’s starting quarterback. It was the perfect birthday celebration. The game had a late start time, and we were finally exiting the stadium at 12:15 a.m. with all four kiddos still awake and happy.

The boys spotted a trio of Wyoming men’s basketball players who were also leaving the stadium just ahead of us. Our middle son, the most reserved of the bunch, walked over to the trio and said simply, “Good luck this season.” Larry Nance Jr., a 6-foot-8 starter for the Cowboys, leaned down toward our boy and said, “Ahh, thanks little man.” His teammates said nothing. The encounter was over in less than one minute but left my boys beaming. They could hardly believe Nance had talked to them.

I’m sure that one minute was less than memorable for Nance, just a minor blip in his night. It meant everything to my children. Someone they watched at sporting events, read about in the newspaper and had a poster of hanging in their room, had spoken to them. He acknowledged their presence. From that moment on, he became the center of their Wyoming basketball talk.

Fast forward to this week. Nance tore the ACL in his right knee on Tuesday during a home conference win. We live in a state with only one four-year university. Seemingly everyone owns something sporting the university’s brown and gold colors. Nance’s injury was front page news this morning for our statewide newspaper. At breakfast this morning, my first-grader read the entire article about the young man who had talked to him. My boy was filled with empathy for Nance. He plans on writing a letter to Nance because “he must be so sad.” We talked about how nice of a gesture that would be. The conversation ended with my 6-year-old saying, “He spent time talking to me. I can write a letter and draw a picture.”

Nance didn’t “spend time talking” to the boys. He said one sentence and has devoted followers. Less than one minute and my son feels connected to a person he most likely won’t talk to again. What could one minute do with people in my daily life? I went through today purposefully slowing down to give one minute to the people I encountered. My boys and their one minute with a college basketball player are a prime example of what can come from one minute.

Today is my birthday. I’ve received more texts, calls and Facebook notifications than an average day. All took less than one minute. That 60 seconds represents time someone spent thinking about me. It’s nice to feel people acknowledge your presence in the chaos of everyday life, even if just for less than one minute. One sentence, less than one minute, could reverberate five months or longer.

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