Not too long ago, we purchased a portable basketball hoop for the kids. We figured we’d all have fun shooting hoops and doing all that “basketball stuff” in our driveway. I assumed it would be a great bonding time, would provide some excercise, and, above all, give us something to do outside.
Well, shortly after we installed the hoop in its place, I realized that it was very likely one of the greatest gifts anybody has ever given to his or her neighbors. In the history of mankind. Allow me to explain:
See, I’m short. Let’s just get that out on the table. And it’s not just me. It’s my whole family. We’re all short. And when we set up that basketball hoop and extended the rim of the basket until it was regulation height, I realized just how short we really were. We just stood there and watched it go up and up and up until it finally clicked into place. I wish I had a snapshot of that moment–all of us looking straight up from our humble little positions on earth, some of us squinting. You would have thought we were watching a comet. Nope. Just trying to see the basketball hoop.
Well, the insane height of the basket only frightened me for a minute or two before I steeled my nerves, grabbed the ball and started dribbling it. It made a satisfying “thump” on the cement. Made me feel like a man.
Bouncing the ball, feeling cool, I stepped back a ways, gave myself some space for a good running start, and I took off. My tongue was hanging out in concentration, the ball was thumping against the concrete, my child-like hands were slapping it down, perfectly in-sync with each pattering footstep. It felt just like what I’ve seen on TV: real basketball players, running down the court getting ready to impress.
My little heart was pounding as I reached that point when I had to jump. My muscles tensed, my legs coiled and I launched myself into the air. Flight: it’s a truly amazing thing. I felt the air whipping through my thinning hair. My ears popped as I reached heights heretofore never reached. I felt like superman. Unstoppable. And, best of all, it happened in slow-mo.
Well, in what felt like a long instant replay, I felt myself going up, up, up and I saw the basket get closer and closer and closer. I reached up with the ball, prepared for the “slam”, prepared for the cheering, prepared for the moment of release… and then, suddenly, I was back on the ground again. The basket was barely visible way up in the sky. The ball was still in my hand. My right leg hurt and I had drool on my shirt. I was sweating.
Standing there, unsure what to do, I threw the ball as hard as I could into the air and pulled a muscle in my side as I did so. The ball sailed skyward until it hit the bottom of the net–nuzzling it like a soft breeze–and then it fell back to earth, making an eery, hollow thump on the cement.
And then the kids started laughing. I was told that in my amazing moment of jumping and “slamming”, I had never once been more than 3 inches off the ground. Never once. I thought I had been soaring, but I’d actually only been skidding along.
Needless to say, the laughter went on for a while–until they started playing. Then it quit abruptly because they realized they were no better.
And from that point on, we’ve spent many a day running beneath that insanely high (regulation-height) basket, dribbling big basketballs that look oversized in our small, child-like hands. We run and jump and not a single one of us gets more than 3 inches off the ground. It’s as if we’ve got invisible rubber bands strapped around our ankles and anchored into the ground.
And that’s why I say this was one of the greatest gifts a neighbor has given another neighbor ever. It’s comic relief. Whenever my neighbors are feeling down or are having a bad day, they just need to look out the window and watch the Hansen family running around the 10 foot tall basket, leaping and jumping and for all that hard work, never once getting more than a few inches off the ground. It’s absolutely hilarious. We’re that bad.
And it’s all because we’re not basketball people. We’re just not cut out for it. But even though we stink at it and even though we don’t have very many skills and even though we’re physically not capable of playing the sport competitively (or even casually) . . . we still do it and we still have fun.
And that’s the decorating point today. So many times, I’ve talked to customers at RepcoLite who are picking out a color to go on their walls that’s the same color as the color already there. It’s just a new coat–a clean coat–but it’s nothing different.
And they’re bored with it–I can tell that–it’s the same old thing they’ve always done. But when you ask them and try to get them to step out and try something new, we often hear the same old excuse: I’m no good at decorating. It’s not my thing. I don’t know how to do it.
Well, I’m not good at basketball. I stink. And so does my entire family. And yet, we’ve already made some great memories running around the hoop trying to throw a ball high enough that it has a chance to go in.
Just because you don’t think you’re good at decorating, don’t let that stop you from trying. When you step outside of your comfort zone and start trying new things, you’ll discover how much fun it can be to take those plain walls in your home and start turning them into something that reflects who you are, who your family is. So get going and give it a try. And if you don’t know where to start, stop out at RepcoLite and let our decorators give you some advice. You’ll be amazed how much fun the process can be.