I was once an athlete. When I was in my third year in high school, I joined my school’s volleyball varsity team. We trained for months and I even skipped classes just to train. I fell prey to the need to excel in the game so I will be chosen to advance in the next regional athletic meet. I felt the need to show off. It was during this one fateful game when I got me injured. I had fever and I was clamoring for the pain in my left middle finger. I went for a check-up at a local hospital and the doctor declared broken ligaments. The first few months were denial months. People ask me why my finger won’t straighten, I told them it will in a few months. But, it was nowhere near straight until now. Everyday I wake up, it reminds me that I was once a sportsman, only injured.
But being a sports enthusiast once gave me lessons in life. The attitude to push the limits and won’t settle for mediocrity are some of these. I trained hard. It gave me confidence and determination later in my life. Way back, I also remember the camaraderie. I learned to be a team player, with friendship forged in trust with team mates.
It also made me a risk taker. In a game, the coach dictates the set-up and strategies, but most of the time, the agreed plan never pans out. So, during the game we take risks, in any way, with the purpose to defeat the opponent. And then we give all up to fate.
I also became prayerful. In every game, we start with a prayer. Our prayers were not always wanting to win, we pray to have the will to win and the courage to accept defeat. That, i think, is the mark of a true sportsman.