I am not an athlete. In fact I am so far from an athlete that organized sports feel like a foreign language at times. I am all for individual athletic activity like working out, yoga, swimming, hiking, biking, you know, things that don’t involve being trampled or death as a possible side effect (though running with the bulls in Pamplona seems like a really good idea to me for some sick reason).
However, the other day (week? who is counting…) I was watching a brief segment of the NCAA Final Four game because “my team” was playing (really I only have loyalty because it’s been hammered into my brain since infant-dom “M go blue!”), anyways, as I watched those giant men frolicking up and down the court with such intensity I began to think about how strange it is that sports are often an intensified mirror of life. I realize that is a rather far reaching concept, but stay with me here, I promise I have a point.
Team sports in their most simple form have one side that is playing offense and one that is playing defense, one going forward toward their goal, the other guarding and predatory.
Our instincts intensify as we feel an opposing force bearing down on us, we push back, running through our defensive playbook and figuring out what tactic will keep us in the “safe zone” (it is worth noting I am really proud of these sports analogies. Dad, I feel like you should be proud too, just saying).
Don’t you feel though that life would be a far better experience if we lived offensively? Constantly moving towards our goals no matter the opposition? Not fearing the pain and consequences, knowing full well that as soon is a play is set in motion the clock starts and the other side will do it’s best to run you off course or deter your advancement.
I realize that there are times defense is necessary or unavoidable, this is perfectly acceptable. Life isn’t all perfect passes and slam dunks (see what I did there?), there has to be blood sweat and tears, hard work must be put in off the court. That way when push comes to shove you will know how to dribble left, dribble right, fake left, shoot from the three point line and watch time stop as you accomplish your goals with a soft swoosh, satisfied in knowing it was nothing but net.