Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Thrill and the Agony

Sorry about this close-up of a chain link fence.
The photo was supposed to be a perfect intro to my blog today, but it turned out to be my only non-blurry pic on account of the fact that I was FREEZING OFF MY BAHONKA on the bleachers, thinking that SURELY BASEBALL SEASON SHOULD BE OVER BY NOW.
Oh, that's right. It is over. Last night was the last game of the fall ball season.
(And yes, I know 47 degrees isn't really cold, but this is South Carolina, y'all, and it's just the beginning of November. I still can't feel my toes.)

Anyway, I've been thinking a lot lately about organized sports and how grateful I am that both my boys are experiencing them, even though the last couple weeks we've been tasting a good bit of agony along with the thrill. Without going into detail, let's just say that it can be really painful to discover that sometimes no matter how hard we work, no matter how much we want something and sacrifice to make it come true, sometimes it just doesn't happen.
Life isn't always fair.
Sometimes it's downright mean.

It's not a pleasant lesson to learn, but a valuable truth, nonetheless.
Still, there are positive things to gain along the way. We can develop beautiful friendships that might not have happened otherwise. Teach our bodies and minds to do amazing things. Become more compassionate people because we know what pain and disappointment feel like. And when we let go of the goal of perfection, we see that the goal can sometimes be an impediment in itself.

Lucky for us, we've enjoyed plenty of thrills as well. Ribbons and trophies and a few shining moments to Snoopy dance in celebration.
Sports can be just good plain fun. A way to play.
A way to earn Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
(Oops. Did I say that?)

Did you ever do team sports? I didn't, no matter how much my father begged and bribed me to join the swim team. I was kind of a klutz on dry land, but I was fine in the water. Still, the idea of swimming against someone else, (sure, they say it's a race against the clock, but there are still swimmers in the other lanes,) the screams of the parents cheering on their kids, the blast of the starter's gun--it all made my stomach do flip turns. I planted my feet firmly on the sidelines, gripped the towel around me and missed all those lessons. But don't worry, Life. You know I learned them later in other ways.

What about you? Are you or your kids sporty spices? Or do you watch from the sidelines?

Have a wonder-full Wednesday, everybody!
Love, Becky


Rosemary said...

Hi Rebecca,
Sounds pretty cold! Never did team sports. Not big into the sports.
My daughter tried soccer in second grade and hated it.
She ended up being a cheerleader.
Hope you are having a good week,

Sherry at EX Marks the Spot said...

All three of my children participated in team sports - voluntarily. I'll never forget a championship softball game when my daughter made the last out of the game. She cried all the way home. I tried to tell her that her out didn't count any more than any other one out, but there was no consolation in that. But this experience didn't hurt her at all. She continued to be competitive in a friendly way and continued to participate in team sports. There's so much to learn from being a part of a team.

Fete et Fleur said...

You are a Saint my dear.


Angela K. Nickerson said...

I taught at a hockey school for several years, so I have been to my fair share of COLD sporting events. A great experience in all. I arrived knowing nothing and left with a great hockey education! :)

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Rosemary, Sarah hated soccer as well. She was constantly saying "Excuse me" on the field as she tried to get the ball. Running cross country was more her style.

Sherry, good for your daughter! Sports sure do have plenty of heart breaking moments--for the mamas too--but they do learn so much.

Nancy, you must have me confused with somebody else. But hugs back to you anyway!

Angela, brrr! Ben learned to play in France. The memory still makes me shiver!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I only had the chance to play basketball which I was terrible at--so I never appreciated team sports until I was an adult. I have since exposed my boys to 4 different team sports because sometimes the sport isn't the fit, but the team part is--and one will now try golf;)

adrienne said...

My parents were not sporty at all, so I had no experience with this growing up.
Last year my daughter played water polo. We were freezing on the sidelines - I don't know how they stood it being sopping wet!

Attic Rat said...

I remember one particular soccer game where it was so cold that a coat, hat, blanket, boots, and gloves still weren't enough. Thing is, the kids were playing in just warmups with their lightweight uniform over them. Hot chocolate never tasted so good!


rochambeau said...

Hi Becky,
Glad you and yours have successfully concluded the "season" a few days ago with your toes still intact.;-)

Also for what team sports have offered your sons, I'm glad. A team is like a metaphor for life. It takes each member to make a whole. Each person is valuable in their own way.

Happy Autumn, friend!

Nishant said...

I'll never forget a championship softball game when my daughter made the last out of the game. She cried all the way home. Work from home India

Kelly H-Y said...

Bahonka is my new favorite word! :-) LOVED this post ... so true and well said! My hubby and I both played organized sports (I'm a softball fanatic ... used to play a ton!) ... now we enjoy watching our son. Actually ... currently, we enjoy freezing our bahonkas on the sidelines of soccer games! :-)

JaxPop said...

Contrary to the current PC view - my family has always been into sports & played or coached to win... at everything - & we did. I never saw the shame in beating an opponent.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

I agree, Jaxpop. We definitely play to win. Oh boy do we ever.