When I was a kid my mom used to send me to church on Sundays. She said it was important to take at least one hour a week to meditate and be part of a community of faith, and she said church would do that for me.
When I became an adult I stopped going to church on Sundays and started going every Monday and Thursday instead. I also changed the location from the church to the basketball court and soccer pitch. There was less preaching, and fewer pews and prayers, but the meditation and community aspect became much more tangible.
I live for my Monday hoops and Thursday soccer. For an hour on both nights, I lose myself in these sports, and I could not imagine my life without them. For those precious few hours a week, I don’t think about work, my relationships, or the daily grind. For those hours, nothing else seems to matter. I immerse myself in the joy of the game, and better yet, I get to hang out with my buds while doing it. We find solace in sports together.
To some, running around and chasing a ball for an hour holds no appeal. But sports is my therapy, my religion. How can I even think about my unstocked fridge or that big meeting tomorrow morning when my team is down 2-1 and desperately in need of a goal?
And beyond the winning and losing, the social aspect is immensely important to me. Organizing a night out with friends becomes more work when you get older and have these things called ‘commitments’, and even harder when you have these things called ‘children’. Indeed, my sports give us all a way to make sure we still see each other on a regular basis. Every week I can count on seeing some buddies, and making some new ones (even while we argue about who blew their defensive assignment on that last play). And that is perhaps the most valuable thing of all.
(Well…after winning. Winning is the most valuable thing. I’m really competitive, ok?)
We each have our own ways of creating sanctuaries and rituals in our daily lives. And in them we find our communities, and our reasons to still be smiling on a dreary Monday morning in February. I’ve found mine. Have you found yours?
~Written by Fiona Geddes