I hate traffic jams. I mean, what good can come from being stuck in traffic? Especially when you’ve got somewhere to be.

Traffic jams are the enemy of progress – proof of entropy in what’s supposed to be a smooth-running world. I’m sure you’re with me, right?

But what if there was a way to turn traffic on its head? A way to laugh in the face of this so-called “adversity”? Well, I recently had that opportunity, and I learned it from a couple of kids.

I had just finished my last workout of the offseason before starting training camp. My body felt good and I was ready to go. Now all I had to do was make it to the airport for my 3:30pm flight back to Chicago. Easy enough, I’d done it a million times.

But this time was different. As soon as I got on the highway to pick up my family and head back home, you guessed it – I ran into traffic. But not just normal traffic. I ran into what turned out to be a five-car accident that blocked up a three lane highway. I was stuck. And with little margin for error, it was looking more and more like we were going to miss our flight.

Making matters worse, all the other flights leaving that day from both nearby airports were already sold out. This can’t be happening, I thought. I started to sulk and complain, but then something really cool happened. I looked out of my window and saw two guys walk out of their parked car (we had been there for a while) and they started playing catch. Then their mom came out of the car and did the craziest thing – she started playing with them!

I was hot, sweaty, and annoyed with the traffic, but seeing these three people throwing the football around, in the middle of such a frustrating situation, brought me joy. As a matter of fact, it brought me so much joy that I did what I do best. I got out of my car and started playing with them. Before we knew it, others hopped out and joined us in what turned out to be a 40-minute game of catch.

I told them who I was, and who I played for, and that made the situation even more exciting for everybody. By the end of the ordeal, I had made a couple friends, a few fans, and some faithful followers. But most importantly, I learned from two teenage kids that with the right mindset, ANY situation can be flipped on its head. What matters is how you look at it. Kind of a like a glass half full.