Today I participated in one of my favorite past times. No, I did not spend the day preparing for the Super Bowl (to be honest, I didn’t even know who the Saints were playing!), nor did I make it to any Super Bowl parties. Instead, I spent the day indoors, sweeping the sportcourt floors with my jersey playing in a volleyball tournament. Whenever I play in these tournaments (which isn’t often), I am immediately flooded with memories of my past playing days. You wake up early, pack about three shirts, two pairs of socks, snack foods, knee pads, and nowadays, a little Tiger Balm for my achy joints and muscles. I love the overcrowded gyms; backpacks, gym bags, lawn chairs, coolers, and of course, bags, carts, and baskets full of volleyballs strewed across the sports arena floors. In this way, I am a total gym rat at heart.
As I was thoroughly enjoying my day full of sideouts and timeouts, I discovered some Unexpected Health insights about volleyball. Amidst the tremendous exercise, the teamwork and the experience, volleyball brings about a wealth of health with a little bit of…luck. And feeling like you’ve got ‘luck on your side’ is healthy.
Sports–in my case, volleyball–are always associated with luck; players have lucky socks, lucky shirts, lucky jock straps (hopefully washed, but sometimes an unwashed jock strap is lucky!). Most players have some sort of ritual pre- or post-game; some eat the same breakfast before tournaments; others crack their knuckles, jump around, say a prayer. And for some reason, there is a belief that if players do the same routine, the same ritual, the end result is a big W-I-N. But the interesting part of these ‘lucky’ rituals is that at some point, we lose; and yet, the rituals remains. If it was really lucky, wouldn’t everyone win all the time?
The healthFUL aspects of luck is that luck, of whatever kind, stems from a belief. Thinking you have ‘luck on your side’ gives you the belief–even it is imagined–that everything is going to be okay. In volleyball, you switch sides every game. If a team wins on one side of the court, then loses on the other side, you better believe that the tie-breaking game is going to hopefully be played on the first side…because the team won! It never fails. When the coin toss is called, odds are that the team who just lost would rather receive first (meaning they don’t start serving) if it means they can have their ‘winning’ side. Now most of the time, the sides are exactly the same. One side may have a weird glare or something like that, but all in all, there is no difference. What is different is the attitude that one side is ‘luckier’ and will produce a win more than another.
What if we started thinking of ourselves as lucky in life? What if we started believing that our ‘side of the court’–our life–was the “It” spot…the winning side? I wonder if our circumstances would shift? I find that the more we think something is true, the more it is actualized as truth. So the next time you think about being lucky (or not), expand the concept of luck beyond the roulette tables, beyond the, “that’s just my luck” thinking, and beyond the ‘winning’ side of the court. Luck can be whatever we believe in…so believe that luck is in everything. -Until tomorrow, Jaime
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