I took a lesson from a baller: You have to pivot

Our son Nate, who is 16 years old, had a basketball shooting clinic in Stratford, Ontario; the home of the infamous Rheo Thompson Chocolates and the birthplace of pop superstar Justin Beiber. I decided that I would be the parent to take Nate to Stratford on Saturday, so decided to stay until his clinic was over, which meant a 6-hour wait and a lesson in how to pivot.

Sara with her son Nate at a charity basketball tournament


As Nate and I followed the Google Maps GPS to the sports arena we noticed something was off. The GPS took us into a subdivision and stated, ‘you have arrived.’ We looked at each other and thought huh?! We were in front of someone’s house, not a venue. Using our spidey senses, we realized that the venue was in fact behind these new homes. We then made our way out of the subdivision and found our way to the clinic venue. The ‘crisis’ was adverted because we used our noggins.

After dropping Nate off at his clinic, I made my way to the café in downtown Stratford. I was SO excited about heading to this café and immersing myself in vibes, energy and culture. I started my journey by looking for a parking spot. After finding one right away, the ‘rule’ on the meter said 4-hour limit and I needed to stay for 6-hours. So, I decided to find a different spot. That was a HUGE mistake. I drove around for about 30-minutes looking for another parking spot. At this point, my frustration was on overdrive.

Luckily, I managed to find another spot and I was ready for the most epic café/work experience ever! You know, the one I made up in my head. I get out to load the parking meter with change and…crap! I didn’t have any, notta, nothing. OMGee. Now I am getting peeved because the day, as I saw it, was becoming non-existent. I decided to head out of the downtown core and find my brilliantly concocted plan elsewhere.

Nate on the court

Nate on the court


I found a café and decided to give them a call to see if they had WiFi available for their patrons – they did. When I arrived I took a look at their menu outside. I remember saying “oh I don’t care, this is where my incredible afternoon begins.” So, I walked in, and the place was dead. I let them know that I would be staying until 8 pm and would be ordering food and beverages throughout the day. They responded with a sentence that led me to believe that I was not welcome to stay until my desired time, without them honestly saying so. 

I sat down, opened the menu and oh nooooo… the menu was not what I was expecting, nor was there anything I would eat. I called the server over and asked about desserts. She rhymed off five different cheesecakes and then mentioned carrot cake. I then replied with “may I please have the carrot cake, a hot chocolate and a glass of water.” In return, I receive the cake, water and…chocolate milk?! I decided to drink the chocolate milk because it wasn’t worth correcting.

As I sat eating, drinking and writing, well trying to write, I could not stop thinking about the fact that I was not truly welcomed to stay until 8 pm. I get it; a business wants the table to service patrons and make money. It was the way they chose to beat around the bush when I walked in. I decided to focus on my writing and move forward in my day, even though the day was not shaping up to be the incredible day that I made up in my head.

Free Empowering Cell Phone Backgrounds


After an hour of sitting there working, I achieved 300 words in my writing – that was horrible. Even as I write this now, I am on word 785, and it has been 30-minutes. I sat for a moment thinking, assessing my surroundings and realized that the energy in the café was super crappy and negative. Whether it was me or the surroundings, I came to the understanding that this café and I needed to end our relationship. So, I packed up, paid my bill, and I left, not knowing where I would end up next. 

I got in my car and drove, not knowing where I was going. I could feel the crappy feelings leaving my being, and I started to find my mojo again. While driving, I ended up seeing a McDonald’s. Right then, I made my decision. I was going to McDonald’s. They have free WiFi and tasty hot chocolate. I parked and got all my belongings out of my car, and then I turned around and noticed Boston Pizza. All I could think about was their chicken parmigiana. So, I made an executive decision and made my way to BP. I told them outright why I was there and for how long I would be hanging around. They were so gracious and accommodating. I was home!

Finding the right space

While sitting in the corner booth, at the back of the bar, I enjoyed some Pepsi, which they replaced due to my ice melting, Bandera bread and then a full plate of amazing comfort food. All while I pumped out the content that I was hoping for. I wrote over 5000 words in four hours. Oh, and I should add that if you know me, it will not come by surprise that I have The Greatest Showman movie downloaded on my phone. So, while I sat at BP, I threw in my earbuds and had the movie playing as my background noise. Even though BP has their music playing, I need ‘my thing.’

b) Sara's setup at Boston Pizza

Sara’s setup at Boston Pizza

After leaving the server an incredible 50% tip because she left me alone, I made my way to pick up Nate. I got lost again, but I was on such a content high that I didn’t care. I eventually found the venue, picked up Nate and we made our way home.


You see, when life sends you experiences, things, thoughts and emotions that were not on your radar, you pivot. You HAVE TO pivot. Just like in basketball, when a player, like Stephen Curry, an epic 3-point shooter, is making a shot and gets blocked, he pivots to take a different shot. This is what I had to do.


I could have stayed and rotted in the café that didn’t want me there. I would have been miserable, unproductive and useless. But instead I chose to move, to switch directions, and to pivot from my current situation and it made all the difference.

Pivoting WILL change your life if you remember to PIVOT. Being in the heat of a situation makes it hard to remember to PIVOT, but if you can remember to do so, you will change your life, and you will positively impact those around you.

Seeing is Not Believing… Believing is Seeing.

Sara in her happy place, courtside

 This week I dare you to PIVOT! 

If you take me up on my dare, please share with me via email or social media, how you made a PIVOT and how it affected you. You can find me on FacebookInstagram and Twitter

Love you, peeps!
Sara L. Clarke

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