From Dana's Guests

My Two Cents: Eager Beaver

Auguste Roc

You've got to understand the rules if your going to play the game!

I remember I was nine years old when my fourth grade teacher announced, in class, that

the youth basketball league would begin next week at the community gym!

I was overwhelmed with excitement about the opportunity to play, for my very first time, on a basketball team.

Every night I would dream of being on the court and playing basketball in an actual game. I kept reminding my Mom to buy a new pair of Chuck Taylor basketball shoes for me so that I would look like a real player on the court.

I was beside myself. It was all that I could think of and imagine because I saw myself as a basketball player. At nine years old I saw myself as an athlete and a hero and there was nothing that was going to prevent me from showing up and making my basketball debut.

It was the first day of the youth basketball league and the gym was packed with kids. I remember that the excitement was thick in the air and I remember that I was picked to play on the 'Knicks' team and my team was scheduled to play first -

Now I am out of control!

I didn't know any of the other boys on the team. The ages ranged from nine to twelve and I happened to be the youngest. But I wasn't fazed by any of this. I was here to play!

It wasn't until the second half when the coach would tell me to report into the game.

My time had finally arrived and I stepped onto the court in my new Chuck Taylor's!

Before I knew it, the ball fatefully ended up in my hands and all I knew was that the ball was going into a basket.

I headed, full sprint towards the basket, dodging everyone in my way, practically the full length of the court without ever taking one dribble.

After the referees whistle stopped play and calm was restored amongst the kids, I realized that I was being frantically waived off the court. My coach motioned for me to get back to the bench where he proceeded, mercifully to explain the rules of the GAME.

Besides just being an amusing childhood memory, the events of that day provided me with a key to playing in any GAME in life -

You've got to understand the rules if your going to play the game!

Where in your life have you had the drive to initiate a project or a dream and yet, neglected to familiarize yourself with the rules of the GAME? Your drive and passion may fuel your aspirations, but if you don't know the rules and if you haven't identified that there will be opposition, you too will be sidelined, Chuck Taylor's or not.

I did eventually get over my embarrassment and the lesson that I learned that day continues to pay-off.

That's my two cents (for whatever it's worth),

Auguste Roc

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