So I found guidance and path validation in another random movie this week. Last night, after an incrediblly entertaining evening, and a really fun concert, I watched the first half of Love and Basketball with three good friends. I'm really not sure if I think the movie is great (though I think the two main characters combine for a very good looking duo!) but it made me really nostalgic for athletics. As I went to bed I was actually a bit sad, and I couldn't put my finger on why until speaking with my Dad this morning. Though I do miss running, training, and competing, what this movie really made me miss was the team aspect of athletics; the community.
I always felt I got cheated out of the college athlete experience. Although I did get to do it for a year and a half, the idea of having your team, the memories, the bonding, the time spent with one another, and the collective action for a single goal, is something I covet. Looking back right now, and thinking about spending all day at a track meet and training for 2-3 hours a day doesn't necessarily get my engines revving, but the idea of doing that with people you care about, and having all the inside jokes, crushes, ups, and downs still resides with me. I know full well that my talent for running is still here, but what is not is the chance to be a NCAA athlete and compete on a team.
I thought about this for awhile today, and what I realized is that life is about progression, we just need to open our eyes and see it. I think the reason I'm so nostalgic about this idea of a sports team is because in high school and the beginning of college, I defined myself as an athlete. It was easy to find friends and a community when my goal was to be in shape, and my title was runner. I had it all figured out. Though I love the direction I'm going in now, and I wouldn't change it for the world, a single definition of who I am is no longer possible. I'm multifaceted and I have a lot of interests, which makes it difficult to sometimes find a nitch and a supportive community. But the fact of the matter is that after I spoke with my Dad, I sat on the porch of a house I share with 60 other kids, and realized I live in a community of individuals with same goals and aspirations. IC is the next step for me in community living. Though this is only for a short time, I am living in one of the most incredible, progressive, caring, and driven communities I've ever seen. We have the friendships, bonds, memories, ups, downs, crushes, heartaches, and the drive. Though we all have different backgrounds and stories, the most important thing we have is a common goal. We are a team (I know very cheesy, but so true), and all the things I thought I lost the chance at are all residing in the roadie experience. It's all here, I just needed perspective.
I am sad to have missed out on 5 full years of athletics, but I can't say that I would have lived my college career any other way. It was the experiences I had after quitting running that led me to BeadforLife, then to CEB, and now to here, and I can only imagine to other great communities in the future.
I dunno if I'll ever finish love and basketball, but I am thankful for the fact that movies, literature, and music will always be a source of guidance and insight into the path that is laid before me.