Just Do It

I posted on my facebook status the other day that there's nothing like watching 1st and 2nd grade boys play basketball to help put things in perspective.

I realize now that perhaps it was a little too "deep thoughts" because it's kind of confusing. Or maybe it was just that it was late and I'd had a glass of wine and was feeling philosophical and bored.

But it's true. These little boys show up to an early morning game, hair all askew, teeth probably not brushed, fueled up on pop-tarts and adrenaline. The house music starts blaring and they run in as they're introduced individually over a loud speaker, NBA-style. They take their places on the bench, ready for the big game.

And they play big. And fast. And hard. Running for their lives to make a basket, trying to dribble and control the ball...then just trying to catch the ball as it gets away from them. They get bonked on the head. They trip over shoelaces. They tackle each other. They freeze in a panic as someone passes them the ball and they're not sure what to do. The shoot at the wrong basket occasionally. They play with passion and utter abandon. They don't know enough to be self-conscious yet. Bed-head hair bouncing up and down all the while.

Michael Jordan is alive and well on the courts of the Baptist church down the street, every Saturday morning.

You know, I sat and watched Will and his friends play and I was envious. As 7 and 8-year-olds, they lack all the baggage that weighs the rest of us down. They're not afraid to try and they're not afraid to fail. They play with passion and they wear their uniforms with pride (and I'm not wrong about this, judging by the number of boys at the elementary school wearing their uniforms on any given day). They put their hearts and souls into every dribble and pass. They don't second-guess the decision to try to make a buzzer basket from the other side of the court. They find time for the occasional goofy face or noogie. They're humble in their victories, not affected by their points earned or points lost.

Sigh. Wouldn't it be nice to feel that way again? Just once?

So I live vicariously through my little Jordan, who just plays because he loves, well, playing. Period.

When was the last time you just played like that?


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