I had planned to post this story while I was at residency, but time seemed to move at warp speed towards the end and I never quite got back to this story. It is a good story and one of the pivotal moments for me during the residency because I think that there was something profound in the colossal failure that occurred on this wintry Sunday eve in January.
We do a lot of sitting during the residency. The lectures or seminars can start as early as 8:30 A.M. and end with student readings in the evening ending as late as 9:30 P.M. So, when one sees an opportunity to move around, one takes it. My friend Heidi and I decided to take advantage of a night time game of basketball. Outdoors. In the snow.
Now, as I said, part of the game was to do some weird activity before a member of the team would aim for the net. I was actually doing okay for a girl who hadn’t played basketball for, uhm, probably since I worked at an afterschool kids program in my early 20s. So, lets just say it had been a long while. I actually got the ball in the basket twice! I was pretty pleased with myself.
During the final round, Tobin thought that it would be hilarious if we were to all take off our winter clothes and roll around in the snow. (Did I mention that I was in a short brown skirt and tights? No, I didn’t come prepared for this game…who is prepared for Snow Basketball?) My other team mate didn’t have a problem with this and Tobin was worse off than I was in terms of inappropriate winter garb, so, I nodded in agreement.
“You’ve been the most successful,” he says to me, “You’ll throw the ball in the net.”
I started giggling nervously, “Are you sure?” I replied.
But they were already taking off their winter coats. So, I, pulled off my thick puffy winter coat, hat and scarf and rolled around in the cold snow. I was freezing and laughing and completely out of control. I stood up to throw the ball, but I was laughing so hard, that I stopped myself and stepped back.
Everyone was laughing at this point. I bent my knees and looked straight at the basket trying to keep a straight face. And aimed. The ball soared right around the rim of the net…and fell off onto the snow. At this point we were all laughing so hard and I just wanted to get my coat back on that the fact that I completely missed the basket just seemed to make complete sense. Alan walked over to me and said drying something about a heroic display of martyrdom.
It felt so good to laugh and be ridiculous and completely suck at something. I pondered later about the things that our faculty advisor will ask us to do. Sometimes, it maybe something that we’ve done a few times and then, somehow “drop the ball,” and other times it will be something that we’ve never done before and still fail.
But, that it is okay, because, eventually, we will get the ball in the net every time.