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  • Mark Villani

#17) Expect The “Unexpected”

Sometimes I feel like I’m a Major League Baseball player on the verge of hitting a grand slam to win the World Series. 


The bases are loaded. No outs. All I need to do is get a hit. 

Swing.... And a miss. 


Fastball. Slider. Curveball. 


Strikeout. Pop up. Ground out. 


Game. Over. 


So close... yet so far...

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I’ve been told that missed opportunities are what define some of the greatest moments in our lives. 


Naturally, I have a passion for fitness and athletics so I often compare my hardships to some of the sports that I love. 


It’s kind of a like a three-foot-putt in Golf...  


You should probably make it a solid 95 per cent of the time, but you get the “yips”... your hands start to shake.. your knees start to tremble... and you slide the ball wide right. 


You don’t quite make it. 


Just like the great Al Pacino once said in the football movie ‘Any Given Sunday’..


“Life is like a game of Inches.”


It refers to the reality that life can change dramatically based on things that are determined by the narrowest of margins. 

And on this “given week”... it was a hole about the size of ‘an inch’ that completely ruined my day. 



You see that? It’s just a tiny little slit in a pipe above my kitchen sink. It seemed totally mundane at first, but it was just enough to flood a good portion of my apartment. 






After a few calls to bring in reconstruction teams, HVAC, insurance, and more contractors, the overall consensus is that I’m out of my apartment for anywhere from four to six weeks. 

Frustrating? Yes. 

The end of the world? No. 


But of course... when it rains.. it pours.. and this week brought forth a number of added stressors. 


For starters.. I had to throw out all the fresh food I just bought because my fridge got unplugged. 


My car shut down on me this last week *twice*


I’m realizing I can’t quite make everyone happy in every professional aspect of my life. 


I’ve been receiving some pretty nasty messages online. #FanMail 


And on top of it all... I’m dealing with the end of a relationship I really cared about. 

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So let’s pause for a moment and reflect on some of these “challenges” — in hindsight these are all very “little things.”


My dad always told me “not to sweat the small stuff” and certainly life goes on as these tiny obstacles interfere with progress and goals ahead. 

Coping with anxiety has been a standard in my life since when I was a kid and got bullied at school quite regularly... but it doesn’t have to define me. 


I grow stronger because of these setbacks. I’ve realized over the last week that I’ve developed into a confident young man with a thick skin and the ability to know my value and self worth. 


“I LOVE ME.” 


I love who I am. 


I love what I stand for. 


I’ll always put myself first to be the best I can possibly be. 

And so.. because I care about who I am... I’ll always remember to smile, laugh, and have a goofy sense of humour..


I’ll run ridiculously long distances (for no apparent reason)...


I’ll work as hard as I can to fulfill my potential — learning from my mistakes along the way. 

I’ll make less money than most people.. but have more than enough stories to tell...


... And I’ll wear my heart on my sleeve, care for my family and my friends that support me through it all. 


Sure... the little mini panic attacks are a struggle, but they’re also a blessing. 


The tightness in my chest, the nerves and the little ticks and twitches that make my heart beat faster also make me human. 

I really “feel” the pain, feel the emotions, and recognize the strength I have within to deal with anything that comes my way. 

I realize that I have failed more times than I can count throughout my life. I’ll fail again and again, but I’ll keep getting back up. 

“NOTHING WILL KEEP ME DOWN.” 

After all... if everything in life went exactly as “expected” then that would surely be boring and unfulfilling. 

So... I stumbled a few times this week... this month... mostly this entire year...


Things didn’t go “as planned” or “fall into place” like they were supposed to. 


But that’s life. 


It IS what it IS. 


Sometimes your ceiling rips apart in the middle of the night and the water comes crashing down. 

Sometimes your car doesn’t start. 


Sometimes you give every ounce of your heart to someone and never give up on them. 


Sometimes you wish so badly that everything goes smoothly...


But it’s the “unexpected” that makes us who we are. 

I’m grateful for the unexpected. 

I’m motivated by the unexpected. 

I embrace the unexpected. 


It’s because I only have one “at bat” at the end of the day and this life I’ve been gifted is like the “World Series” — There are no second chances and the time to live is RIGHT NOW. 

So as tumultuous as these past few weeks may have been... I’ve also used them as an opportunity to keep bettering myself, while enjoying the finer things in life. 


This month I experienced some of the most beautiful sunrises that have set the tone for a good day ahead. 





I’ve enjoyed Dim Sum with great friends. 



I bought new shoes (Stripes over checks, baby )


I picked way too many New York Jets players in my fantasy draft... YIKES! 


I went for some beautiful runs and explored the city... capturing flags along the way. 




I started taking boxing classes... my nephew is... supportive? 



I rocked rally caps at the golf course



I experienced the peacefulness of walking along the train tracks near the river without a care in the world. 



I had a few beers... a bucket of Coronas (hold the virus). 



I spent time with the very best friends I could ever ask for in a million years 



Not such a terrible month when I look back on it all... instead I’m just grateful for what I have. 


There’s good days, bad days... and everything in between. 


But for now, I’m just left to wonder...

What’s next??


What else could life possible throw at me?

Whatever it is... BRING IT ON. 


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