Nothing better than warm, creamy soup and basketball on a winter evening. Yet in that combination, I experienced both accomplishment and disappointment.
Today I tackled my first New Year’s resolution by whipping up my version of clam chowder (solo!), complete with a bread bowl. So in the culinary respect, my day was rewarding in the salty-sweet clash of sourdough on seafare. The Golden Gate Bridge was closer than ever.
Leaving the kitchen for the court of my high school gym, my confidence and toasty soul was slowly blown to chills by the Bay’s surrounding fog. Because basketball has its way of breaking me down. And honestly, I have to admire its capacity to do so. For me, the sport transforms into a challenge unlike any other I’ve experienced in the athletic field. Rather than holding the basics comforts of volleyball- three hits and a point- basketball flies from coast to coast between hoops, holding sweat and tears as players collide through webs of intricate teamwork and talent. All the work, pressure, and mental-physical beatings for the classic two point lay up, a popping three, or the successful drive, AND one.
Funny enough, I lean toward defense. It’s my joy. Because I realize my own weakness. I cherish the ability to dismantle the opponent- to STOP them and therefore create my opportunity. That is where I find the power, where there’s a momentary chance to turn the tables. I backwardly fear offense, because I feel I must be in protection mode to finish what I started. The other player now has the same chance to swipe away what I possess. I know I have it all wrong. Of course, defense wins championships, but I truly need to pull out the hunger and confidence to make it to the basket.
Practice was rough today. And that’s the beauty of basketball, of any sport. I have a vulnerability to account for, something looming to challenge my will as a person. To build me up only by shaking me down.
Sports give you the ultimate ability to shout CARPE DIEM. In any second during a game, you are purely living in the present, fighting for the right to score. Fighting toward a goal of victory. Fighting for God’s glory. A game is a breathing being. We are the pulse that keeps it alive.