Throwback Thursday. When we as a people reflect. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” said George Santayana, according to my Google search of “those who don’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” So close.
Today, I throwback to some of my past athletic, uh, “achievements.” What lessons can be learned from revisiting them? None! Please like/share.
I no longer play sports. The only athletic competition I take part in currently is when I go for a jog and try as hard as possible to catch up with/pass the random person running ahead of me who has no idea that he/she is involved in a race. When it comes to this, I am a champion.
But that has not always been the case.
Basketball: I loved basketball as a kid. It was by far my favorite sport. One-on-one, two-on-two, “Utah,” 5-3-1, HORSE, Knock-out. Played them all. But once I got to high school, I for some reason completely lost interest in hoops. I didn’t play on my high school team freshman year, and had no plans of playing Junior Varsity sophomore year. Then the JV coach, who also coached JV baseball, told me I had to play to stay in shape for baseball season. Nonsense.
I played, but I wasn’t exactly enthusiastic (or good). While some people push for more playing time, I was more than content to see action in the final 30 seconds before half time or at the end of a game that was out of reach. Do a little bit of running, maybe grab a rebound. But if you get into a game, you of course want to score, at least once.
One game, I thought my moment had come. A kid on our team, Vinny, stole a pass. He tossed me the ball. I had a clear line to the hoop. No one was within 20 feet. I dribbled a few times, made my leap, and completed a picture-perfect layup. TWO POINTS IS TWO POINTS. Or so I thought. A kid on the other team had other ideas. Somehow (or maybe because I wasn’t very fast), he had caught up with me. As I released the ball, he unleashed a picture-perfect block. He hit the ball so hard that it pushed open a previously closed door behind the hoop and exited the gymnasium. ZERO POINTS IS ZERO POINTS.
Soccer: The first organized sport I played was soccer (AYSO 4 life). I was a goalie. I enjoyed playing goalie, especially in high school. I was either standing around doing nothing, singing Def Leppard songs to myself when the ball was on the other side of the field, or it was “Oh God, here they come.”
One day I did not enjoy playing goalie in high school was our playoff game junior year. It was so cold. So very cold. We were losing most of the game — I don’t remember by how much, I don’t remember how the other team scored. All I remember is the cold. And one other thing.
I took my duties as a goalie seriously, as you can tell from the previously mentioned singing of Def Leppard songs to myself during games, and one of the major duties of a goalie is to keep your eye on the ball.
A kid from the other team unleashed a shot in the general direction of the goal, and I was tracking it. I sprinted, my arms outstretched, trying to stop the ball from going into the corner of the net. It did not go into the corner of the net. In fact, it came no where close, sailing wide left. I realized this when my face connected with the goal post and I stumbled backward, falling to the ground. Pour Some Sugar On Me, I am cold and in pain.
Baseball: I think I covered this enough last year.