Congratulations to Kathi Hanson! She’s the winner of Brenda Yoder’s book Balance, Busyness, and Not Doing It All. Kathi, I’ll get your address to Brenda and she’ll mail your copy soon.
If memory serves, I started playing basketball in third grade. We practiced every Saturday morning so we would be ready to scrimmage the fourth grade team at halftime during a high school game.
I loved playing. Dribbling and shooting at the hoop and running up and down the court. It was fun. And I remember thinking I was pretty darn good. I mean, I could bounce the ball between my legs and everything. Sometimes I even had enough arm strength to get the ball to the basket.
I had my eyes on the Olympic women’s basketball team. Why not, right? After all, I heard all the time that if I set my mind to it, I could do it. If I tried hard enough, practiced long enough, wanted it deeply enough I could accomplish it.
Uh. No. Not for this girl.
I mean, it worked all through elementary and middle school. I got to play every game only because I hustled in every practice and they had to let everyone play. But then I got to high school. I made the JV team…everybody made the JV team. I sat on the bench for most of the games. I was a 30/30 player. I went in if we were up 30 points or down 30 points because I couldn’t do any damage either way.
I was a bench warmer.
Because I really wasn’t all that good at the game. It wasn’t for lack of trying, though. I worked hard in every practice, didn’t skimp on the line drills. I’d stay after, working on my jump shots and lay-ups and free throws. I studied the game by watching the pros.
Still, I did not improve for all my effort. It was disheartening.
So I ended my basketball career after my sophomore year. I wanted to focus on my school work, wanted more time with my friends, needed to help out with my grandma.
I’d realized that there are some things that we aren’t able to do, not even with all the hard work and desire. I’m not athletically inclined, much as I’ve tried to make it happen.
But there are things I’m good at. I’ve learned over the years what those things are and I develop those skills. My basketball dreams may have bricked against the backboard of failure, but I’m all right with that now.
Last week my kids asked if I’d go with them and my husband to the park to play basketball. Basically, they wanted me to go shoot hoops with them. Here’s what my kids had to say…
“Wow! Mom! You can really dribble!”
“I didn’t know you could jump!” (I know…laugh it up)
“How do you keep making those baskets!”
“Did you play for the pros?”
And you know what? It felt so good to play. Not worry about form or if I’d make the basket or look like a fool (which I DID!). I was just having fun with my family.
Sometimes that is enough. Right?