November 26, 2014

"I Would Rather Be Ashes Than Dust"

Dear Reader,

My journey began in math class last week, when I overheard some friends talking about tryouts for our school's basketball team. After considering their conversation for a moment, a radical thought came to my mind. Why don't I try out for the team? I decided I would give it a shot and gave my word to my friends that I would try out.

I'll be frank here, my dear Reader. Aside from 4th grade Physical Education class, I have had little experience on the court. Before going to my first open gym last week, I considered my strengths and weaknesses. "Can I make shots consistently? No. Can I read an opponent and determine what they're about to do? No. Do I have mad ball-handling skillz? No. But can I try my best despite my shortcomings? Yes. Yes, I can."

This last thought carried me through the entire tryout process. Did I miss a bunch of shots? Yes. Did I have to look at the ball as I dribbled? Yes. Did I make tons of mistakes? Yes.

But I powered through and did my best. Though I knew the odds of making the team were slim to none, I went hard to the very end.

These words, attributed to Jack London, help explain why I even tried in the first place.

"I would rather be ashes than dust! 
I would rather that my spark should burn out 
in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. 
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom 
of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. 
The function of man is to live, not to exist. 
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. 
I shall use my time."

Though I didn't make our school's basketball team, I am glad that I seized this opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone. I would rather be ashes than dust. 


(Congratulations to those who made the team! ROCK the court this year, y'all. Rock it.)

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