I personally believe that life is very much like a book if done right. I never forget about the previous chapters because they help make the rest of the story easier to understand and I believe strongly that the earlier chapters contribute significantly to character development.
Sports definitely have contributed to my character development over the years, but sports for me officially started in fourth grade with basketball and baseball, because it was the first time I actually felt I had a snowball’s chance in hell of competing.
As I mentioned earlier I had a stint in wrestling when I was five and six, but it was pretty much a lesson in getting my ass kicked in a defined circle. Also as you may remember I expanded my horizons by getting my ass kicked all around town until my little brother stepped in to go for the groin kick. If they were handing out medals though I would have got an ass kicking medal when all the girls in the grade ahead of mine bloodied me on the playground.
But I expanded my horizons beyond getting my ass kicked when I started playing basketball and baseball. The punishment was no longer physical ass kickings because it was a forum that I could use my size to my advantage without getting into trouble, however the mental punishment was just about to begin. I sucked!!!!!
I could score a lot of points in basketball, but it was only because I was so much taller than everyone else and could rebound my own misses. Thankfully I had a partner in crime though and there were games where we would sit under the basket one of us on each side and literally pass the ball back and forth over the basket.
I finally gave up basketball for good in eighth grade, but only after creating the memory of our team losing by six in a tournament game where I missed twenty of twenty-one free throws and in our league championship I watched my last second game winning shot spin out of the rim and fall to the ground.
As for baseball, my last year was in sixth grade where I had one hit the whole season but not for lack of chances because I played the whole game every game. I was the only person on the team that could throw from the catchers position to second base.
I would have played when I was in seventh grade too, but on my way to the first full practice of the season I flew over the handlebars of my bike when I hit a curb and broke a finger on my catching hand. This was after my first batting practice where I literally hit a home run every at bat, I was in the zone that never saw the actual playing field.
So what did I learn besides I was never meant to be a home run king or the next Magic Johnson? I learned a lot. I learned everyone has a role on a team. I learned discipline. I learned perseverance. I learned to never give up. I started to learn what friendship meant.
Above all, I learned at the end of the day that success or failure in sports does not necessarily translate to success or failure in life. While I sucked at basketball and baseball, life went on and I actually feel pretty good about how the book has continued to develop.