MOVarazzi

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

724. How Basketball Saved My Life

“Get yourself out of the corner!”  I hear the head coach shout to my son.  Moments later, “Take the shot, Tall, you can do it!”  Next is “Rebound, rebound, go-go-go!”  followed by “Pass it, let your teammate help you out!”  I realize that each phrase the coach calls out on the court is a valuable metaphor for my everyday life.

Get yourself out of the corner.  I had put myself in the corner many times in college, taking too many classes and working too many hours while still trying to maintain an active social life and be in a sorority.  It was too much.  When you do 20 things simultaneously, you never do any of them particularly well.  Now that I was an adult who should know better, I reflected on how many times I had overscheduled our family, overextended and made promises I knew would be hard (if not impossible) to fulfill.   I made a change:  I told The Husband the kids could play only one sport per season, no more.  No traveling teams.  No double-booking birthday parties with playdates and sporting events.  It was time to get out of the corner and have room to breathe. 

Take the shot!  Why the hesitation?  What are we afraid of?  If the possibility is right there in front of us, we must jump high and try.  I recently wrote a book of short humor essays.  After months of rejection from agents and publishers, I decided to “take the shot” and self-publish.  The book was ready to sell as of November, and I had a book launch and signing party in January.  I am not world-famous (yet), but I am proud of myself for not letting that initial negativity block me from moving forward to chase my dream.    

Rebound, rebound.  So the job is not what you thought—quit and seek a new one.  Or a family member is ill—support him and help him to get through it with renewed vigor.  When life hands you hard work that you were not expecting, sharpen the focus and attack it with gusto.

Let a teammate help you out.  I am not super-woman, and yet, sometimes I am reluctant to ask for help.  It’s okay to say you can’t do it all.  It’s okay to not live up to society’s (unrealistic) expectations.  The best thing you can do is admit you’re human and let others help you.  Now we tell the kids to make their own beds.  They also set the table and feed the cat.  They know we are all a team, and we must help each other. 

I walk over the coach after practice to thank him.  “Hey, Coach,” I say, “thanks for a great session.  Tall got a lot out of it.” 

And so did I.  
MOV
("Mom's On Varsity")

10 comments:

  1. Now I can't get our diabolical high school cheerleaders chants out of my head!

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    1. ha! that was exactly my intent........

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  2. Well put.

    Sports also taught me the value of clean clothing. Dirty sweaty clothes ... ew. Rank.

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    1. oh, yes, I forgot clean clothing. and showers.

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  3. Oh. Sports analogies don't generally work for me. Mainly because I either drop the ball or it bends back my finger and then I quit. And I'm not sure what that would say about my life if I used it as a life lesson. Ha! But I definitely see the beauty and poetry in your analogy! ;) And also...I'm glad that you haven't figured out how to blog smells yet. I'm not sure that "basketball team" would makes the best first smlog post.

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    1. I'm with you on that one. I'm sticking with chocolate when they do invent how to do it.

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  4. I am always spinning way to many plates at one time. Working, school, family arggghhhhhh!!!! But I have my eye on the prize, I'll have that degree by the end of the year.

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    1. is this the second PhD, or the third? I'm losing track...

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  5. Very good. I, like Stephanie, don't usually go for sports analogies because I can't really relate. But, this makes all kinds of sense.

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