If you have been reading my blog, you know that growing up, extracurricular activities were a very big part of my life. My parents wanted us to enjoy as many activities as possible and I am forever grateful for the healthy push they gave all three of us.
I started playing in 7th grade on the middle school basketball team. I met some of my closest friends via basketball. Melanie, Melissa, Candice, Fran, Courtni, Danielle, Susan… we all enjoyed the game and supported one another. Playing on a team was important, especially at a young age.
Working with players of different personalities and skill levels could be challenging at times. Feelings would get hurt if another player started over them, or if someone was benched because they missed practice for a vacation (ahem), or if one wanted to call it quits… I learned how to deal with it all while working on my game.
Basketball came naturally to me. I was quick on the court and played an aggressive defense. My coach thought the point guard position would fit me best (was he trying to tell me something?) but little did he know I would take it to another level.
BALL! BALL! BALL! BALL!
Oh yes. I would loudly talk (ok, maybe yell is the appropriate word) that word repeatedly on defense. The person handling the ball would get so confused. They would either fumble the ball or get so annoyed at me because let’s be honest, it is REALLY annoying to have someone in your face, screaming at you, while you are trying to concentrate on something else.
My teammates would get a kick out of this, which only egged me on even more. I have always been energetic and it usually spilled onto the basketball court.
I loved EVERYTHING about playing basketball. Regardless if I was playing on the court or hanging out on the bench, I loved it. I loved the camaraderie. I loved the challenge. I loved it all.
This was one of those extracurricular activities that I will never forget. I will never forget how I felt lacing up my high-top basketball sneakers, throwing up my hair into a ponytail, pulling the blue and white basketball jersey #23 over my head. The nicknames we gave each other, the inside jokes, the chatter on the bench. Dribbling down the court, going in for the lay-up, taking that foul shot to win the game, hearing the team cheer each other on. High-fives. Hugs. Sweat. Tears.
It was worth it.
It was all worth it.
What activity have you participated in that has changed your life?