Growing up, I enjoyed playing basketball. I played competitive in high school for 2 years and somewhat competitive church ball (although it might have been a lot more scrappy). I really enjoyed the competitive nature, the crowds cheering, the playful aggression and of course the winning. What I didn’t enjoy was getting fouled or missing a non-contested lay up down the court by yourself. I mean seriously!
I haven’t played real basketball outside of winning shooting contests at Boondocks against my husband and an occasional around the world getting creamed by my boys for nearly 7 years. When the opportunity to be included in a group of women to play some ball for fun, I jumped on in. I was included in the group messaging and invites and quickly said yes. When it came time to go, my heart was racing, I was having a bit of anxiety about my ability, since it's been so long, and I wasn't that good to start with. I put on my big girl pantaloons and decided to jump in the lake vs. dipping my toes in.
My boys were excited that I was going since they have been the ones playing and I have been the one cheering them from the sidelines. It was their turn. My only request; don't make fun of mom. I knew they wouldn't, but it was a way for me to put my insecurities of playing out there by saying that I might look like a big goof. My boys anxiously sat on the sidelines watching their mom play basketball. I didn't look over to see if they were laughing, quite honestly I didn't care. I was having the time of my life!
Was I awesome at it? YES I WAS! And by awesome I mean, didn't fall down, didn't airball my shots and didn't downplay my abilities or efforts. I had so much fun that I forgot what it was like to be a teenager again playing my favorite competitive sport. I forgot what it was like to have complete confidence in my abilities and do my best, regardless of the outcome. I forgot that I was an "old" mom with four kids who didn't have "time" for childish play. I leaned into it and glorified in the game.
We spend time as adults feeling like we can't enjoy or can't perform the same way we did when we were kids. We spend too much time comparing and judging our efforts against others. We spend too much time thinking we don't have time to enjoy recreational movement.
My plea to you today is go back to your roots as a child. Go for a bike ride, do a canon ball in the pool, play a sport, or even do a cartwheel (if you don't get motion sick like I do). Being physically strong doesn't mean we have to do things that we don't enjoy and dread exercising. It means we get to appreciate the body that was given to us and stop the worrying that we're not good enough to sign up for that first race, play on that team, etc. I mean really, does it matter if we finish first or play on the winning team at our age? It can if you are ready to crush some of your goals. But for most of you, it's just getting out and doing something and why can't it be fun?!
Have fun today! Move your body the way you did when you were a kid. And guess what?! You'll laugh more today than you probably have in a while. Not at yourself, but with yourself :)