07 October 2006

A Lesson From the Past

Yesterday I woke up early in the morning. I don't know why I couldn't sleep, I was up super late the night before. Spencer got out of bed at 6 to take a shower and I just laid there thinking. I started thinking about sleeping and how I was always so tired in High School. Between sports, homework and Seminary how is an LDS kid ever supposed to sleep during the week? Thinking about sports brought me to the time when I was a sophomore.

I loved volleyball and was fairly good when we played in the church for mutual and stuff. My sister had played so I decided to try out for the team. Now I was small. I mean 5'2"-and-barely-packing-100-pounds small. I had never played sports seriously besides one year of softball when I was 9 and half a season of soccer when I was 5. I loved sports though and was constantly playing games with my friends or at church.

Despite my size, I think I did pretty well in those tryouts. I kept up with the girls in intervals and drills, but the one thing I couldn't do at all was the overhand serve. I tried and tried but it would always fall short of the net. I had a wicked-stalling underhand serve but no one wants only an underhanded server on their team.

So because of this I didn't make the team. There were 14 girls trying out for JV and they only need 13 to fill their roster. The coach offered me the equipment manager spot because I was the only one she had to cut. When I told my mom that, she got so mad and told me not to do it. That it would be lame and a disgrace to be just the equipment manager. I listened to her and told the coach I wouldn’t do that.

I've thought about that a lot since then. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t listened to my mom. What if I had taken the manager spot? Coach had said if someone couldn't play, they would have put me in-well at least on the roster (no guarantee of playing). Plus I would have trained with the team making my chances to play the following year better.

Well as it was I didn't do it and never tried out again. Instead my junior year I was on the swim team. I was still small but this was a sport I could do. Practice was over 2 hours long-most of that swimming-and I started to gain weight. I was eating TONS during the day but it was okay because my body was finally gaining the weight it needed. Within a couple months I was up to 120 but most of that was muscle from swimming. My legs were strong but especially my arms and shoulders.

Imagine my surprise when a couple months into the swim season we were playing volleyball at church and I tried an overhand serve and it hit the BACK wall of the gym. I was strong! I kept serving over and over again to make sure it wasn't a fluke and proved to myself that I finally could do it (this was about a year and a half after I originally tried out). Now all I had to learn was how to control the ball so I could serve it where I wanted. By this time it was way too late to try out for the volleyball team. I would have been a senior and had to play on the varsity team which I was not ready for. I swam my senior year again instead and loved it.

So why bring this up? Why hash up the past? I often wonder how a different choice could have changed my future. If I had been the equipment manager I might have gotten play time. I might have been able to play my junior and senior year. I might have made different friends. But I might not have done any of those things although still I wish I hadn’t listened to my mom and taken the position anyway. I think often there are times when we are given opportunities to do things that at the time don't seem like the best prospect so we don't do them. In my case I don't think my mom wanted me to "stoop so low" and it was kind of her way to stuff it in the coach's face. Looking back it seemed like a good stepping stone but I didn't have the guts to say so myself at the time.

I guess my point is don't let opportunities pass you by just because they may not look good now. Life is not about just living in this moment. It's about piecing all those little moments that may not seem big into a huge puzzle. I am comforted that God knows what my puzzle looks like. I just hope I can make the right choices so at the end of my life it's complete and looks beautiful.

1 comment:

Thoroughly Mormon Millie said...

I think that's very wise advice - although I totally agree with your mom. ;) I totally have her temper. But your way makes more sense.