The powerful lessons sports taught me
(Pictured: Me catching some air at Purgatory Parks Ski Resort in Durango, CO. January 22, 2023)
I've been very athletic my whole life. Now that I'm older I've come to realize sports came fairly natural to me. I shined in dance, soccer, track, but never basketball for some reason. I even obtained a full ride Division I scholarship to Loyola University Chicago. How do you realize you're doing something well if it's effortless? This doesn't apply to just sports. Some people are naturally compassionate, naturally energetic, naturally funny, naturally outgoing, naturally good bakers, etc... And other people just have to work a little harder to acquire the skill. It wasn't until recently that I understood some people don't have it so easy with their bodies. In the physical world they may require more maintenance, more effort, and more determination than those naturally gifted with an athletic body. I always knew there were different body types, but I never grasped how much effort others may have to put in because I've done most of my physical work effortlessly, so that is my reality. I am glad my veil of ignorance has been removed and I can now look at others differently with more compassion, more excitement when I see them getting after it, and more grace. So, one of my earthly talents is athleticism and bodily ease in the physical world. So be it!
Whether you played a sport for a few weeks, a season, or multiple years, there is so much value in being part of a sports team besides the exercise. Even if being athletic isn't for you, or for your kid, there is still something to be said about playing a group sport - even for a little bit.
When we’re going on in life and things get tough we don’t quit. We prepare. That’s what sports taught me. It’s a mindset.
Sports teach us how to toughen up our mind to prepare for the long haul up ahead. Doing reps of exercises and pushing on even though you're tired builds an invaluable skill of discipline. Discipline can be used in any aspect of your life for whatever you want to achieve. You want to be a musician? Use that discipline and keep making music. You want to be an athlete? Use that discipline to keep working on your body and competing. You want to quit drinking? Use that discipline to tell yourself NO, and show up for yourself. You want to just be? Use that discipline to keep believing in yourself and what you deem to be true.
I also gained immense confidence from sports as my therapist pointed out. Being even remotely good at something creates a sense of pride that let's you know you're a capable human being. Luckily, I found pride in sports, but I never made it my identity. Sports were purely something I enjoyed doing (and to get out the house - sorry mother).
As I go on in the world and strive for the life I actually want to live, I use sports as my teacher for obtaining that end result. Thank you sports!
What did sports help you with?
Of All Trades,