Thursday, December 07, 2006

I love sports

I love sports. I identify with the struggle between two teams, two individuals, people trying their hardest to accomplish a goal. It started when I was just a kid growing up. I'd sit around with my dad and watch sports on TV. Anything that was on ESPN, golf, bowling, wrestling, American Gladiators, baseball, basketball, football. As my wife puts it, we're the kind of family that loves sports so much that if dogs were wearing numbers and taking a crap, we'd watch it. Sports grew the bond between me and my dad. That's how we connected. When my asthma kept me from playing I started to coach at only 13. We coached Little League, and later we coached girls softball. I love baseball, all the little things that make a difference. They say football is the game of inches, but baseball is the game of anticipation. Just having the right feel for something and leaning in the right direction can make the difference between making and missing a play. Baseball is the game of millimeters. A round ball hitting a round bat and finding a hole in the field of play somewhere. It's amazing how all the little things come together to make a great game. An individual can shine, but a team can overcome and win. Sports are a metaphor for life, except there's a bonus. Each event has a clear cut end making it easy to identify a success. We can win an inning, game, and season. Life is harder. The boundaries are not defined. Was today a win? Do I have the rules of my tasks, life, projects defined well enough I even know when a win occurs? I have been a goal oriented person for a long time, and have kept lists of things that I want to try to accomplish, then I will work towards them in my free time. Free time is hard to come by, goals aren't being met. Does that mean I'm losing? Or am I just stuck in the a game different than the rules I understand? I couldn't win a baseball game if I showed up in a football uniform and without a glove and bat. I need to know the rules of the game to be able to win. The rules of life are what we make them. We are always winners or losers in our own minds. If you are struggling and not winning, you may be playing the wrong game. Maybe your life has changed and the chance to follow the same rules is gone, come up with a new game. Shift your goals to the things that are now most important to you. Become the person that you want to be in another area of your life. No matter what though, never stop striving to be the best you, that you can be. Sports has taught me that practice and hard work does lead to improvement in everything. I may never be the best, but I can always work to be my best, and that's something that I live by every day.