Starting this week there will be 64 and by the following weekend there will only be 2. I am referring to the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, fondly called March Madness. For those who love the sport this is its highlight. The elimination process yields our national collegiate basketball champion.
One team of players will taste the ultimate victory. Sixty three will suffer defeat. If we take a moment to reflect on this it is easy to see that the one team that wins cannot exist without the other teams. They are all intertwined in the event—the winner needs their opponents.
Madness of competition can lead us to not seeing the wholeness of our existence. Every team that loses allows the other team that wins to play its best.
Thankfully, most of life is not a tournament, though for some us we make life to be just that—an elimination of losers and an elevation of winners.
Last August I chose to undergo hip replacement surgery. The debate inside of me went on for a long time whether to replace my hip necessitated by increasing degeneration and pain due to arthritis. I finally opted to go for it, wanting to return to normal activity—which included playing basketball. This past Sunday I finally went out to test the hip and my ‘opponent’ was my son Ben. I was more than a bit nervous. Would the repair to my hip allow me to move the way I could before the arthritis? I am thrilled to report that the hip felt fine (the rest of the body was not as cooperative) and the rhythm that is basketball flowed through me once again.
If this was a tournament I would have been eliminated.
What a thrill to be back on the court.
What a thrill to play with my son, who I taught how to play basketball, who now moves quicker and with more power and finesse than his Dad.
I look forward to “losing” to him and his younger brother for many years to come.
It will be my pleasure to “lose” to my daughters as well.