The Little Things

I’m headed into my 7th event of the season, my 5th of five in a row.  I’ve basically been on the road since Thanksgiving, most of my stuff is in a friend’s garage, and the rest of my worldly possessions are in my car. Those who know me on a personal level know that this is not how I roll AT ALL. I have a graduate degree in Planning, and nothing in my life is planned right now. I’m not even sure where I’m sleeping tomorrow night.

But in the midst of a time of insanity and uncertainty, I’ve tried to remind myself that…

It’s the little things.

In previous posts, I’ve talked about why I (should) care and about community and the power of positivity.  While life has certainly not been what I’ve expected it to be lately, I also realize that there will never be another time in my life where I have the opportunity to interact with so many different people.  It’s a huge opportunity to make a difference, and I’m determined to take advantage of that opportunity.But how do I even go about making a difference?  I don’t have the resources to change the world, or even change our sport.  But… what if I can change one person’s ultimate experience or one person’s world?  That makes it seem a lot more manageable, though it’s still quite vague.  I’ve been trying to distill that down to my interactions with people.  Can I have a big impact if I just make an effort in my daily interactions with people?  Will all of those little interactions sum into something bigger than I can imagine?  I hope so.

Here are a few interactions I had with people at Women’s College Centex this past weekend that impacted ME in a positive way:

  • One of my project teams showed up at the fields to hang out Friday afternoon.  They came over to say hi and asked a dangerous question, “Is there anything we can do to help?”  They then faithfully walked out fields and marked cone locations for me for the next hour.  While several teams this season have been more than willing to help me when needed (Michigan, Texas, and Vanderbilt to name a few), I have almost no relationship with this team, so their small act of kindness meant a lot to me.
  • On Sunday, in response to me doing a small favor for a college captain I barely know, the player texted me, “I’ll pay it forward.  :)”  This player has already impressed me with her positivity this season, and it made me smile to know that this player, at least, understands my life philosophy.
  • At the end of a long, tiring weekend, I was uploading another batch of scores to Score Reporter.  I looked up from my computer and saw a coach, who had played on a rival college team of mine, approaching me.  After I answered her question about a consolation game, she thanked me for my role in building Women’s College Centex over the past five years.  She acknowledged that very few current players have the perspective to know what the event was like before 2009, and we talked for a few minutes about the community we’re a part of, and how committed leaders can make a huge difference.  I appreciated her taking a few minutes to let me know the impact I have had on her ultimate experience.  Sometimes (often), I lose perspective on what I’m trying to do.

Five more days until the end of the Without Limits college season.  What kind of difference can I make?  What kind of difference can YOU make?

It’s the little things.

About Michelle Ng

Michelle currently captains North Carolina Phoenix, and has captained five other seasons at the college and club levels. She currently serves as one of the Women's Division representatives in the USA Ultimate Club Working Group. She is a 4-time Club Nationals Qualifier and 2-time College Nationals Qualifier. She was also a Callahan Top 3 finisher in 2006, an All-Region selection in 2008, and won the Kathy Pufahl Award in 2010. Michelle started running tournaments in Fall 2005 out of a desire to create more playing opportunities for her college team. When she moved to Austin in Summer 2006, she saw a huge disparity between the number of opportunities she had on the West Coast and the opportunities she now had in the South Region. With the help of her college teammates at the University of Texas, Michelle strove to change that. Michelle's efforts have continued to grow over the years and she has run dozens of tournaments and clinics all over North America, the majority of which have been fundraisers for college teams. Michelle also works as an Events & Relationships Manager for VC Ultimate.

5 thoughts on “The Little Things

Leave a Reply