Apparently, I use a whole stadium full of sports lingo in my language.
With speed this time.
Go! Go! Go!
I imagine it has to do with growing up shooting around the hockey rink while my dad played. Perhaps it could be the plethora of hours I spent playing volleyball (or really any sport)in a gym. Or even the days we spent on the snow while talking about the hockey rink or what was transpiring in the gym. Could it be my infatuation for tennis and ringette in my younger years that fuelled this sporty language acquisition? Maybe I could even put the blame on my very athletic parents.
This sports lingo has been a tremendous oar as I have had to row through my grief about cancer with my family and now with the loss of my ever-present mom.
Upon reflection of the words I choose, I have come up with six points on the scoresheet that are helping me understand how to be the healthiest, fittest and strongest player for the team.
Turn on the scoreboard, here we go:
1. CHOOSE TO BE A PLAYER! WE ARE STARTING WITH SOME NEW DRAFT PICKS. THE TEAM IS CHANGING JERSEY’S, STRAP YOURSELVES IN AND PUT YOUR F1 HELMET ON.
I have always tried to be a team player. I have always wanted everyone to be on the team. I have always felt the need to encourage people on the team that surrounds me – my friends, neighbours, family members and even the mail lady. This was a lot of energy going into being on the team as well as trying to be the team manager and cheerleader.
2. STEP UP, OR STEP OFF THE PODIUM. PLAYERS ONLY GET TO PLAY.
I am not interested in having people on the team who tell me I am now in charge of organizing things for the team. Sorry, every person is going to have to pull their own weight, plan their own lives, holidays, trips. I ain’t taking over the coaching role mom vacated. I definitely don’t like the cheerleader’s outfit nor the fact that the manager doesn’t get to play the game.
(1985/86 Ringette Team)
3. TALK. LISTEN. TALK. LISTEN. COMMUNICATION IS KEY.
I am definitely not interested in having people on the team who have told me they need to have communication boundaries. If you can’t talk as a team, there is no team. Plain and simple. Oh ya, my children are on my team til they are eighteen so you better figure out what you need to do to swing the bat for the team. Otherwise, you will most likely will find it frustrating coming onto the field to play with a team you don’t know, but may have known twenty years ago in Little League.
3. GIVE ‘SOMETHING’ OF YOURSELF TO THE TEAM. (Not just expensive gifts!)
I am not interested in players who want to be on the team, but not be open or available to anyone by sharing something of themselves. Being on a team means give ‘n ‘r for the team: physically, emotionally, mentally.
4. YOU CAN MEET YOUR OWN NEEDS ON THIS TEAM.
I am no longer interested in being the one to plan, ponder and even worry about how you are fitting in with the team. Time for each person to step up to the plate and say what kind of skates don’t hurt your feet. Practice saying what you want then if you don’t get what you want, get off the bench. and get it yourself. No more moaning and groaning.
5. A TEAM IS NEVER PERFECT.
Lastly, on this team there is a place for mistakes. Yes, I just painted two walls of my house orange. Yes, I often say the ‘wrong’ thing in your eyes. Yes, I am raising my boys imperfectly with all my love. Oh ya, you can also throw your judgements (or prayers concealed as judgment) down the luge track.
(1990 High School Volleyball Team)
6. LIFE IS A CHOICE: GOLD MEDALS EXIST FOR BOTH TEAM AND INDIVIDUAL SPORTS.
If you want perfection, stick to the 100 metre dash, keeping your eyes on the finish line, practicing to the best of your ability knowing I wish you well.
(1991 Volleyball Provincials)
I choose to play on a team.
I was laughing out loud as I write this post. What great memories my parents created for me through sport. What a privilege it is to be in such a ‘raw’, fragile time!