Vail Daily Publisher Don Rogers: Higher purpose of jumper |

Vail Daily Publisher Don Rogers: Higher purpose of jumper

Don Rogers
Vail, CO Colorado

Fear and faith sculpt our lives. Fear is the blade, faith the hammer. And the marble is our circumstances of birth, genes, brains, potential, dumb luck.

By fear, I mean all the variants, from vague anxiety to the sharp point. And so with faith, from self to spirit.

Confidence might serve as the intersection between the two, or barometer, as it is swayed by both.

I came to this notion of fear and faith in the shower, thinking about two things: How in my professional life most of my promotions and breaks have come during recessions – the deeper the downturn, the bigger the break. And how in my sports life, specifically basketball, I tend to pass rather than take a jumpshot.

This binary calculation plays with the big things in life – raising the kids, love, career, all that. It just crystallizes in dumb little things, like my jump shot. Couldn’t get any dumber or less consequential than that, right?

So I’ve taken up an experiment that can only upset my higher-skilled peers (which, sadly enough, is all of ’em). I shall aim to shoot no less than 10 times per noon ball session. Actually, I’ve done this for the past couple of months in a bid to move the needle more from fear toward faith, just to see what that brings. And I’ve kept track.

I backslide plenty, but the inevitable math is you make more when you try more. (Duh.) You get a rhythm going, maybe some confidence, and sports is all about mindset once past base conditioning.

For me, taking a jumpshot is a big deal, all anxiety about who is more open, a better shooter, and how terrible I’ll feel when I miss, again, because what I really want is for us to win, so why am I taking this shot …? It’s so bad guys back off and dare me to shoot. “All day, Rogers. Heh. Heh.”

You’d think I’d feel that sort of fear about important things, like writing. But nope. That just flows. Whether it properly should or not is just a question I don’t ask, at least not like every time I go up for a shot.

This quirky, often irrational mix of fear and faith is what makes us, I think. But if our lives are indeed shaped this way, it also suggests we have some measure of control.

In my professional life, I’ve always just kind of boldly taken my shots, believing that it all works out the way it’s supposed to. In other parts of life, not so much. A shy child, I had to learn to do this in matters of love, and eventually got really, really lucky (26 years so far of marriage above my station, and two great kids).

Actually, though, I’m trying to dodge fear and faith altogether with the jumper, and just hit the shot count without getting so caught up in the outcome.

Ah, this must be zen.

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