For the pass 20 years I've identified myself as a basketball player (pretty much as long as Kobe has been a Laker) however that all came to a sudden end a few weeks ago. The doctor shut down my comeback faster than a trump rally in Chicago.
To make a long story short, last season I tore my patella tendon. In my head I scheduled a great and glorious come back. However, because this was my second knee surgery in 3 seasons the expectations in my head didn’t meet reality. The doctors sat me down and told me I was done playing.
Glorious comeback… over.
I know what you’re thinking: you can’t just give up. True. Very true. That’s something I think about, but if I keep playing I’ll be doing serious harm to my body. Not just aches and pains kind of serious, but crooked knees, crooked back, can’t walk kind of serious harm to my body. Father time is unmatched, every body gets worn down, whether you play a sport or not, and now I’ll have to hang up my basketball shoes ASAP.
Which brings me to a moment in my mind: I can clearly remember buying my first pair of basketball shoes. It made me feel excited and optimistic. It made me feel ready for whatever becoming a basketball player was all about. I’ll never forget that feeling.
Fast forward back to today - Hanging up these shoes my feeling are totally opposite. I’m still trying to work through how I feel. The main thing I feel is fear . I’ve competitively played basketball for nearly my entire life. Truthfully, I don't know how to not be a basketball player. For 20 years basketball has given my life structure. I defined myself as a basketball player.
Shakespeare once said ... "To be...or not to be?...That is the question.” No, the question is..."What defines me now?" That’s what I have to digest. What defines me now? I’ll never stop searching for that answer.
I keep in mind a statement a friend told me. "...I believe there is no Good or bad experiences. Things happen for us, not to us.”
Everyone is faced with a scenario like this. We all face crossroads and we all handle them differently. I’m not saying there’s one right way to approach a cross road, but for me, I just remind myself that things happen for us, not to us.