“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are POWERFUL beyond measure.”
– Marianne Williamson
Like many others, the first time I heard my favourite quote was watching the movie Coach Carter. At the time, I was in my third year of playing basketball and aspiring to be like the star-studded professional, Allen Iverson. Like A.I, and the featured players in the film, the sport was about way more than what appeared on the surface. Of course, I had fun playing but at its core, basketball was about facing challenges. It was about brotherhood. Destiny. And, practicing firm faith.
As a matter of fact, every sport I played served the same core purpose. See, I wasn't born gifted in any particular area to provide a natural advantage over my opponents. I wasn't tall, super fast, a top-notch shot nor did I have springs in my legs to "make me like Mike" - but I did want it more than those around me who took it for granted. I went 100% every time I touched the floor.
Due to the fact that I wasn't where I wanted to be skill-wise, I put in extra time to get there. Basketball became an escape. I remember the days when a ball and alleyway would be my refuge. I was running away from the feelings of hopelessness and lack of control over circumstances that existed in the household. I was developing 'man of the house' syndrome and I found myself constantly upset that I couldn't fill that role the way I saw fit, immediately. I could never 'let go and let God.' I couldn't be sure if He would come through or not.
This is where faith and sport collided for a ground-shaking revelation in the mind of little KB. Just like in life, sport is played in an environment which brings the unexpected at every twist & turn. They are games with ample opportunity for risk-taking, for learning how to stay agile and for showing courage (or confidence) through the act of being decisive. In the fleeting moments that provide these opportunities, there is little time to weigh options - the game demands a response. These scenarios have served as a way to practice following my intuition as well as a way to awaken to a bold, powerful force within that leads with a whisper. Stoic confidence emerges. For me, that's s what it looks like to be firm in your faith. Thoughts don't scramble around your mind riding each potential decision like a rollercoaster, your mind and body are on the same page and most importantly, there is no doubt.
I believe that sport served a great purpose in my life. Not only did it give me brothers take me to new places and eventually to new opportunities, but the sport also assisted me in cultivating a life-preserving mindset. I needed to learn to trust myself and to let that bold, powerful force see the sunlight in times off the playing field as well. In the movie, when Timo Cruz answers Coach Carter's question, "what is your deepest fear?" with the quote that precedes this post, the message really hit me - I'm talking punched in the stomach, eyes wide, jaw dropped type of hit. I could resonate with the statement yet it took years to put into action. Over time, I realised that I had been playing small. I realised that I had been moving through life fixated on "motivating moments of darkness", not through that calm and powerful light within.
These days, I start my day early to practice intentionally moving from that place as fear wears out its vocal cords while I remain absolutely still. I no longer fight fear with fear. I am serene, faithful and powerful beyond measure.