Monday, August 28, 2017

Hoop (Day) Dreams and Reflection

I've been playing a lot of basketball lately. Sometimes, I get into full-court games if there are people around. But most days, I'm alone, shooting baskets until my arms feel like spaghetti. It's on these days that I get to think about my life the most. Every aspect of the game I play is likened to a facet of my life.

Every shot is representative of an action that I've taken in life. Some of them go in, like the successes I've achieved. And some of the attempts miss - an indication that more work is to be done. And each of these misses can be categorized.

Did the shot fall short? Was it an air-ball? It probably means I didn't have enough behind it. Not enough support. Insufficient strength. I didn't try hard enough. I wasn't prepared to succeed.

Did the shot swirl around the rim and lip out? I didn't shoot squarely. I wasn't at the ideal angle for the shot. I took a chance at a different approach. But I made the attempt in hopes of luck.

Did the shot hit the back of the rim and bounce out? I was over-confident. I tried too hard. I pushed some boundaries but the end result was some pushback. Sometimes less is more.

Was the shot halfway down the hoop and suddenly popped out? I was halfway there. I was livin' on a prayer. I must have needed something else to complete the job properly.

But every time the ball goes in the hoop, there is a certainty that everything went well. The form was perfect. I like those moments. It's a reminder that I have what it takes to score the points. I have what it takes to succeed, to complete / to compete, to do well at whatever task I've undertaken. Which is why I love to take free throws. (If it's free, it's for me.)

Now, I'm not a 100% free throw shooter, but I'd say I'm in a range of 70-80% accuracy. That means that 70-80% of the time, I can execute perfection. I bend my knees. I keep my eye on the basket. My form and posture is square; the arc is perfect; the trajectory is in line. The force is sufficient (and with me). Not too hard, not too soft. And the result is the swish of the net. It even sounds like perfection.

Basketball is an almost daily (yes, I play that often these days) reminder that I try and have to continue to try innumerable things in order to succeed at anything. And out of all the attempts that I undertake, I will fail at some, but prevail in most instances.

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