Chris Graham: Go negative

312_stopthepressesThey say negative energy is bad for you. Whatever. They think they know everything, and they don’t.

Yeah, sure, you don’t want it to consume you. Serenity now. But you can’t ignore that negative energy can get you to do stuff that you wouldn’t otherwise do.

Take me and this weight loss kick that I’ve been on lately. OK, it’s more than a kick. I’ve lost 80 pounds in six months. It all started out of spite.

“Hey, buddy, I’m starting a diet and exercise program,” my friend Eli said to me, oh, about six months ago.

My first thought: you fat piece of —-. You might lose your car keys, but you’re not going to lose weight.

So when he lost five pounds the first week, my tune was changing.

Can’t let that fat piece of —- beat me at … anything, really.

Guess what? I won.

“What happened to your diet and exercise program?” Hadn’t seen Eli in a few weeks, and he was back to his starting weight.

“I lost 30, and I’ve gained 40 back,” he said.

I win.

That was negative energy working for me. I’m healthier, happier, sexier, whatever. So what if the motivation was negative?

Most everything I’ve learned in life has come from negative energy people. I learned everything I know about business from watching how the people who ran a small weekly newspaper in Charlottesville that I worked at for two years ran through a couple of million dollars of investors’ money, and when I started my own media business, I did the exact opposite of what I’d seen them do.

(For example, I worked hard. And didn’t treat money like water coming out of an eternal faucet.)

Even going to college was born out of negativity.

“You’ll never actually go to college,” people told me, and they were probably right when they said it. How many kids growing up in trailer parks with single moms go to college, right?

F— them. I’m going.

More negative energy working for me.

Avoiding negative energy is one of those problems about how we’re raising kids these days, that and how we like to give a damn ribbon to them for participation, like getting in the game is a big accomplishment in an era when the rules say that everybody has to get in the game.

You have to confront the negative to appreciate what the concept of positive even means.

And if you’ve got a problem with me saying that, channel that negativity into getting you to get off your ass to do something about it.

uva basketball team of destiny

Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

augusta free press

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