I Play for High-Fives

This morning I had an amazing opportunity to speak at the first annual Sports Showcase for CoachArt.  The organization provides free lessons in the arts and athletics for children with chronic and life threatening illnesses.  I was a yoga mentor to a family and  as I look back on that experience, I don't know if they was coaching them or they were teaching me bigger life lessons.  Needless to say, a beautiful experience. I wanted to share with you the speech I gave to the families this morning, it went a little something like this:

Good Morning and thank you for having me.  I am so honored and excited to be here today!  I am a former yoga mentor to an amazing pair of brothers and their sister, as well as a forever athlete.  I am going to speak to you today about the experience of Sport.  I am not talking about winning or losing, I am talking about the moments in sport when you are in practice, when you are learning and when you are having fun.

I have quite a history in athletics, having played almost every sport under the sun.  Be it soccer, volleyball, basketball, dance, softball, running, yoga...the list goes on and on.  The moments I remember are those that truly called for a shift.  I remember playing soccer on a co-ed team and on the third practice, I ran up to kick ball back down field and totally missed and fell.  Of course, my secret crush was standing right behind me.  I remember my coach running over and teaching me tips and tricks to keep my eye on the ball for better foot-to-ball coordination.  And then I recall playing golf with my Dad when I was younger.  I would step up to drive the ball and it would seem to go straight down the middle and then all of a sudden veer off to the right, over onto another green or towards another golf cart.  FOUR!  My Dad would tell me it was alright, not to worry and give me a high-five to try again.  And more recently in yoga, I come to my mat and have days where I have no balance, no breath and hearing my teacher remind me that this is a practice; have patience.  And, I get up and continue to move.

In all these moments, I remember most the coaching and the confidence built from the reminder to breathe, the tips and tricks shared and the high-fives.  Be it from my coach, my Dad, my teammates, or even myself, I played for the high fives.

Could everyone turn to the person next to you and give them a huge high-five.

I play sports to have fun.  I play sports to continue learning, to get back up when I fall and to feel my heart beat faster in the joy and heat of the moments.  I play sports for the high-fives.

Now, your turn.  Go play!  And, have fun!