Growing up I was pretty much the least athletic person around. I’m naturally uncoordinated (I struggle to even spell coordination), I’ve got very low spatial intelligence, and my body control is also very low.
I gave up on being halfway decent at most sports at a very early age…though I held out on football because I could still tackle effectively (when I could catch the ballhandler). Yet, seven years after playing my last game of recreational football, I’ve developed an intense interest in the sport of basketball.
Not football, which I at least played in street form from middle to high school; not baseball, which I at least played in Little League; not volleyball, which was my favorite sport as a young adult, but basketball. A game that I quit playing remotely seriously in elementary school, when I embarrassed myself in P.E (a very common occurrence actually). Thanks to video games, I’ve become a big fan of basketball. And I’m committed to actually learning how to play.
Now, why is this realization important? Why is it on my mind at 9 pm on a Sunday when I should be stuffing my eyes with “The Walking Dead”? Two hours ago I thought about how absurd I was for the past two months. I’m still thinking about it.
My 23 year old mind was convinced that I wasn’t too late. I could pick up the game. Get in shape. Work my butt off for two hours a day for two years. Get another bachelor’s degree so I could tryout for an NCAA team, and then I could compete and play a college basketball career. Two hours ago, I was finally able to pull the final remnants of that clear fantasy out of my brain.
I’m naturally unathletic. Naturally uncoordinated. Low spatial intelligence. Very little body control. If I rewound my life to age 1, kept a basketball in my hand, pushed younger me to keep jumping, and was able to develop a true love and passion for playing basketball at a high level, it MIGHT be possible that I’d play third string at a bottom tier college. MIGHT. Even that’s unlikely.
There are definitely paths that would allow me to be more athletic, more coordinated, and to have more spatial intelligence and body control. Comfort and experience are the bedrock foundations of success, and if you spend enough time doing something, it’s unlikely that you won’t be at least better than the average person. However, to be frank with myself, that’s not me.
Instead of playing basketball for a D1, top tier basketball college, I studied at a top tier University. Instead of spending hours working on my jump shot, I spent hours working on critical and analytical thinking. I can get hooked on basketball now, and fawn over all of the potential opportunities I might’ve had, or I can get involved with the sport now in a capacity that aligns more with my talents and my skillsets. At the end of the day, I’ve developed a love for basketball. That love might help me get into shape, might help me develop a stronger social network; in fact, it might even lead me to a career or a job opportunity. However, it won’t lead me to playing on a team during March Madness or onto a professional team any day. As cool as it would be, that isn’t and won’t be my reality.
But I am now committed to finding a way to make ball a bigger part of my life. Right now it’s via video game, but who knows what the future has in store? Only time will tell.
Have a great week!