One day during high school basketball practice, I was showing off.
I was the best player on the team; so naturally, I felt I was the best person to be in control of the offense. There’s not an “I” in team but there is an “I” in win, right?
Suddenly! The whistle blew and Coach Murr yelled my name. I was pretty sure he was going to make a teaching point about something awesome I had just done. I wasn’t sure what it was going to be; after all, I did a lot of pretty great things (or so I thought).
He did make a teaching point and he did use me to make it, just not in the way I had expected.
“Doug! Get over to the sideline!” I sprinted over and put my toes on the line. Coach Murr threw me a ball and told me to hold it in my left hand over my head.
“How much does that ball weigh?”
I had no clue and thought it might be a trick question so I shrugged my shoulders in confusion.
“22 ounces, only 22 ounces. Since you like having the ball in your hands, hold that ball up over your head for the next 10 minutes. Then, if you’re ready to be a part of the team, you can get back on the court”.
Irritated by this silly demonstration, I thought to myself, “This is ridiculous. Is he trying to embarrass me? Doesn’t he know I’m immune to embarrassment? After all, I’m the (self-appointed) class clown."
Before that thought could leave my mind, I felt this weird tingle in my arm. That little tingle quickly turned into the feeling of all the blood rushing out of my upstretched arm. “Man this ball is getting heavier”.
Then the deep burn set in. I was sure that the blood in my arm had been replaced with lava.
That day I learned a valuable life lesson.
“It’s not how heavy a thing is, it’s how long you have to hold it”
This is true with stress, obligations, and responsibilities. Find time to put those things down from time to time. Let other people help you. No matter how light you think it is, if you hold it for long enough, it will break you.