Saturday, October 8, 2011

How Basketball prepared me for Motherhood

I am often amazed how my Heavenly Father prepared me for motherhood in ways that I never would have thought at the time.  The one that has been on my mind lately is basketball.  For some strange reason, a lot of people thought that when I was a teenager, I would be good at basketball.  I am 5'8" so I suppose that's relatively tall, and where they got their assumptions, so I listened and tried out.  Turns out, you need hand eye coordination to be successful in basketball, and I have none.  But I made the Junior Varsity team in middle school, and in high school I didn't make the team at all, but I played for our church young women's team. 
Then in firefighter school, sometimes for PT (physical training) our drill sergeant would say we were going to do basketball practice.  Which had nothing to do with ball handling, it had to do with running sprints, doing lung walks, and squatting and shuffling, all those other things that make your legs burn for days afterwords. (If you're wondering why there were drill sergeants in fire fighter school, fire fighting was my military occupational specialty (MOS) when I was in the Army National Guard, so after I completed basic training, I went to fire fighting school and continued training, in case you're curious).

Fast forward to the recent past.  I was cooking Chinese Chicken, and opened the oven to check to see if the chicken was done.  I didn't want to take the whole pan out, so I just pulled the rack out a bit and cut the piece of chicken open to see if it was cooked all the way through.  While I was doing that, my very curious toddler ran up and said "Ohhhh!!!"  and tried to come and explore what mommy was doing.  Do you see the impending danger?  So, I was already somewhat squatting (I'm kind of glad I don't have a picture of this)  and I squatted a little deeper and blocked my baby with my hind quarters.  He tried to go to the other side but I blocked him again.  He returned tot he first side as fast as he could but I was all over that and he didn't stand a chance!  It was the same thing basketball players do when they have the ball and someone from the opposing team is trying to take it from them.  The big difference is that this opponent was short enough to easily go under my legs.  By the time he thought of that I was done and the oven was closed.
Then today we went to the library.  My older kids love to play in the kids play area because they have huge stuffed "blocks" that they make into little houses or slides or whatever.  My baby loses interest quickly and decides it's more fun to run away and have mommy stop looking at books and chase him.  He's pretty fast, and I try not to sprint in the library too much, so now I just stay near him and if he makes a break for it, I get in from of him, squat, and hold my hands out, like a basketball player does when their opponent is traveling down the court and they're ready to steal the ball.  This makes my baby laugh like crazy, but also keeps him corralled in the general area where his siblings are playing.
All that time I thought the things I was doing were actually to play basketball, or working muscles to be a more effective fire fighter.  Who'd a thought those skills would come in handy as a mother.

I hope this post made sense, it's hard to describe without showing you.

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