Over the course of a lifetime, one will learn many lessons. Some are learned through hard work and discipline, others through random acts of fate. Some come crawling to you in the night, gnawing on the darkness, begging you to finally enter the luminescence of enlightenment. However, in my own personal story, I have learned a great many things in one place and one place only: the tetherball court. This, is my story.
The first time I ever saw I tetherball court, I wasn’t even sure what I was beholding. A ball, hanging from a pole coming from a tire. What kind of sorcery was this? I had to find out. That was the first lesson I learned: explore the unknown.
I asked the fellows that were playing if they minded if I hopped in, but they made me wait a couple of minutes for them to finish their game. Second lesson learned: patience is key.
In my first game on the court, I was an absolute fool. I had no idea what I was doing, the ball was flying over my head and I was losing ground quick. I jumped and jumped, but I was still pretty small all things considered and it was no use. I would go on to lose the next 27 games I played and here is where I learned another lesson: winning isn’t everything.
As I grew in stature, my mind grew in strategy. I would spend every possible spare minute at school out on that court, serving beatings and learning lessons. I became a dominate figure on the court and was at one of the few peaks in my mainly valleys experience of middle school. Until the last day of Eighth Grade, I ruled that playground and adjacent tetherball court. I didn’t know it just yet, but the next lesson I would learn was that nothing lasts forever.
High school tetherball madness hit me hard. I went out there on the very first day, expecting to show my stuff. Little had I realized that I was babying myself by only playing against younger and smaller folks than myself. Only an equal would truly present a challenge and thus open me up for growth. Another lesson: challenge yourself.
I would spend the next 4 years crafting my skill as a tetherball god. Having leanred my lessons, I would go on to dominate the competition beyond high school. I would continue this love born in the schoolyard for my whole life, learning lesson after lesson. I began to understand that while the life lessons were important, the most important thing was the game. I guess that was the final lesson I learned: winning is everything.
See you on the court, punks.
This article was written by the Void. You’re welcome. Follow the void on Twitter here.