Sideline Sentiments are my thoughts on life, from a bleacher perspective. Literally.
In college I learned there are four seasons on an athlete’s calendar, and they’re not the ones I know from kindergarten.
No, these seasons aren’t equally divided on the calendar and they’re not marked by leaves with changing colors, although every bit as distinct. They are preseason, the season, post season and the off season.
This is all quite theoretical, of course. Because we all know there’s really no such thing as off season. And preseason activities can unexpectedly surface during the season, often preceded by a big, bad “L.” Funny how that happens.
But at the moment, it’s mid September, and for basketball players around the world, smack dab in the middle of preseason is where we find ourselves. It’s a period of time known for its abundance of sprints, sore legs, curse words and pain killers.
I remember creating a giant countdown calendar for my wall in college every year. A just get through this to get to the real stuff was typically my approach of choice. Really squeezing the most out of the experience, wasn’t I?
Now I don’t play basketball anymore. No more sprints or timed mile or ice tub (the worrrrst). No more countdown calendar.
But while all the activities of preseason are now missing from my life, I’m afraid I find myself at times still living in the season. There is a future ahead of me with things I want to have and to accomplish, with places I want to go and people I want to see. I find it all too easy to treat my present as I did my preseason—just get through this to get to the real stuff. All the while, I fail to realize that right now is really the real stuff. Could it be that a preseason approach is what robs us of our present?
While we wait for what we’re looking for, we’re losing out on what we have. Getting by now to get into the future leaves us with a life legacy of nothing more than that—just getting by.
A preseason mindset in life has little to do with preparation and improvement. Instead, it has everything to do with just getting through. My life’s preseason counts down to better health, more time, favorable circumstances, a calmer schedule. In general, someday. And so our bodies are in today, while our heads and our hearts are in someday.
I remember someone once telling me to carry my weather with me. Well if that’s the case, then I think I’ll take the liberty to orchestrate my own seasons as well. And it’s time I drop preseason.
Completely, and for good.
No more getting through.
Because if we were all honest, the good stuff, the real stuff is right now.