Thursday, June 13, 2013

The End of an Era

Being a recent college graduate and still looking for a job has given me some free time to reflect on the recent happenings of my life. I find it hard to even grasp, at times, that college has already flown by and is now just a memory. Those four short years were the most transformative years of my life. One of the biggest aspects in this transformative process was being on the basketball team at the Naz.

There are times now, when the fact that being part of a part of the team I was on is over. Honestly, this is a hard pill to swallow. Sports has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember. I have been in a team setting for almost 20 years. I’ve known for a while that I would be done playing on a real team after college. (If I ever had any chance at playing anywhere professionally, that chance went out the window when I had my health issues. I never became the player I should have been mainly because of that.)

Just because I knew in my mind that the days of playing basketball were going to end doesn’t mean the rest of me had the same understanding. It’s almost like part of me didn’t believe that it would really end. While still there, I found myself realizing this phase of life was coming to a close. Keeping this in mind, I tried to take hold of every moment late in my college career because I didn’t want to take this journey for granted.

The thing about team sports is that there is so much more to it than just the sport itself. Do I miss playing basketball on a regular basis? Absolutely, I love playing, but it’s more than just the game itself. I miss competing with other teams with players that are on a similar or higher level. I miss the mental aspect of the game. I miss practicing and working out. I miss being pushed more than I would normally push myself and finding out I have more in me than I thought. But more than anything, I miss being a part of a family of other guys that I go to battle against in practice and go to battle with everywhere else.

Being a part of the basketball team at the Naz developed me so much on and off the court and made me a better person in nearly every aspect of life. I will cherish the times I had there for the rest of my life. I love that team and I will always remember the time and work put in with those guys. At times, it’s depressing thinking that it is all over. But then I realize that it’s not really over. Because anything these guys do next year or the year after and so on, I know that I was a part of the process and a small part of their success.