I’m lucky I was an athlete. And I am blessed to have children that are also athletes. Not just because of the success, but because of the failures. And even more so, for all the friendships that were made on the field, on the track, on the court – for those that were made and carried me through many of my younger years.
“Friendships born on the field of athletic strife are the real gold of competition. Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust.” ~ Jesse Owens
Growing up as a competitive athlete, I inevitably also turned into a huge sports fan. Well, let me clarify, because actually I’m not a big fan of baseball, golf, tennis, car racing or hockey (and don’t even get me started on softball, cycling, or speed walking or GASP bass fishing) so really, I suppose it’s more that I’m a fan of good competition. And admittedly, even some of those aforementioned sports have had their moments that reeled me in – like watching match play at Ryder Cup, following the underdog in the NCAA basketball tournament as they kept winning … oh, and when the World Series went seven games … listening to end of the Indy 500. So, OK. Maybe I am a generalized sports fan after all? Maybe – but even so, I have my favorites. And it just so happens, my favorites are also my children’s.
And I love that. Why? Because it’s more than a game. More than a race. More than a match. Sports – be it football or the steeplechase (or God forbid, bass fishing) – can start a conversation. It can feed Sunday night dinner-table talk, Monday morning water cooler conversation and multitudes of “If only” disclaimers across the internet. It can keep you up late glued to postgame commentary. Can get you up early for more commentary and to see what your local paper’s printed. Why? Again, because it is more than a game …
Sports can be a friendly yet fervent diversion from the mundane and it allows us to make a connection with those that we otherwise might not. It also allows us to dream of the “what could have been’s” and the “what should have been’s” … and I am a sports fan because I am a fan of life and always, always, giving your heart and soul to that which you believe. So again, I am lucky to have been an athlete. And I am blessed to have children that are athletes – because through all their victories, all their disappointments, they will learn. And they will cherish these days along with the friends that stand beside them – win, or lose.
Today’s post inspired by The Daily Prompt, Childhood Revisited – “Sure, you turned out pretty good, but is there anything you wish had been different about your childhood? If you have kids, is there anything you wish were different for them?”