The Reality of a Dream By: Jayson Wells
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I believe I’m starting to figure this whole creative writing thing out, (though I’m sure my college professor would beg to differ from what he saw back then.) I feel this way because as I write these different posts, like three other posts come to mind! In this post, let’s explore the difference between reality and dreaming, and why some athletes struggle with calling it quits.
Basketball has basically been my life for over 30 years. As you’ve read, from the age of 3 when I picked up my first ball, to 7th grade when I played on my first organized team, this was it! I had no idea this dream of getting paid to play a game I loved would allow me to see places in the world that I didn’t even know existed! Basketball has allowed me to be in the same city of 3 Olympic Ceremonies (Atlanta, Sydney, and Athens) it has allowed me to live in, NOT VISIT, the Holy Land of Israel, my oldest son was born in Italy and not to mention all the wonderful people I have crossed paths with. I also had the opportunity to financially benefit from my skillset. However, that number is probably drastically less than the number you have in your head LOL!!
Thirteen seasons is how long I was blessed to be able to wake up every morning and say I was a professional basketball player. You may think, that first day of waking up and not being able to say that would make reality set in quickly, NO WAY!! Over six years after I officially decided that I had played my last game, reality is now setting in that my life is NOT playing basketball anymore. I had no idea how to stop dreaming and wake up to reality! After years of being able to do pretty much exactly what you want, many players simply do not know how to wake up. Whether it’s hanging on too long, retiring and then coming back, or simply trying to make a couple more bucks. It happens entirely too often. I believe most these guys, many of which have made millions of dollars are quite simply scared! Scared of “real life”, scared of what the world holds outside of putting a ball through a hoop. And though my background is basketball, please don’t be fooled into believing that this only happens in my sport! Guys like Mike Tyson, Paul Pierce and all of us remember watching Brett Favre unravel right in front of our eyes. The thrill is not that great that you just can’t sit down, they just simply can’t wake up! The truly sad part is that the story NEVER ends well. When you pass on your opportunity to leave the game gracefully, you will not have that option again, from that point on, your only option is to get KNOCKED OUT!!
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