Column Post by Laura Hyers
My husband is a sports fanatic. I mean, probably no more than the next guy, but for being raised in a home where the lives of four women were punctuated by the drama and valor of only one sport—basketball—his appreciation for athletics has taken some adjustment on my part.
He played baseball and soccer as a boy, and his wiry build allows him speed that is a benefit to just about every sport there is. He loves baseball and hockey, and the running joke of our engagement/wedding planning was that I was relieved we were getting married outside of football season, or he may not show up.
When we were both sick as dogs on our honeymoon, he was watching the X-Games in our hotel room and I heard a familiar voice coming from the TV while I made lunch in the kitchenette. I said, “Oh, that’s Tony Hawk – I didn’t know he still did this.”
I heard a gasp from my new husband as he turned around, his mouth open, and sputtered, “You…you knew that was Tony Hawk?”
I nodded and said, “Yeah. I used to watch the X-Games all the time, and that show he was on.” Caleb grinned huge and said, “Best. Wife. Ever! So glad I married you.”
I can’t say honestly that I’ve been able to impress him with my sports knowledge since then, considering that he couldn’t care less about the only sports I know (basketball and cross-country), but its one of my favorite stories to tell from our sickly honeymoon.
Right now he’s in our living room watching some TV show about trick basketball or something like that, and my post for this week has been heavy on my mind. I keep mulling over different ways hope hides in our everyday lives, and I think it hides big in sports (at least for the people who love sports).
I asked him why he loves the sports he loves, why the outcome of a game can ruin or revive a day (or even an entire weekend in the case of his Tampa Bay Buccaneers), why something that so many people call “just a game” is so much more than a game for him.
He looked at me with incredulous eyes and said, “It’s about your team. It’s about wanting so badly for them to win, to succeed, to give everything they have and be victorious.” I nodded and said, “Okay, so it’s about hope?” And with the patience I use with my students at the preschool, he said, “Yes, it’s all about hope. It’s about identifying with a team, being part of them, them being part of you.”
And really, I think that’s what hope is about. I think it comes down to being a part of something bigger than yourself, weighing the needs of a whole against the desires of the individual and making a choice to sacrifice what you want in order to do what needs to be done and trusting that you’ve made the right choice. This is something I’ve learned in a hundred different ways—many new ones coming in the months that have stretched on since I changed my last name, since I became a wife, since I committed to the incessant remaking and sacrifice and struggle of marriage.
But hope isn’t limited to the confines of marriage, lovely friend.
I think, at the end of all of this, our God knows us well enough to know exactly how to teach us to hold fast to hope, and that looks different for you than it does for me. And for some people the road is full of twists and turns and for others it looks like setting down and growing deep roots, committing to a town, a family, a child, a spouse.
Maybe the reason sports resonate so deeply within so many people is because they speak to the same part of our hearts that is rocked by epic novels and films: the part of us that yearns for adventure and hope, the things that come from being part of something bigger than us.
P.S. We’d love to know your thoughts; be sure to share in the comments section below. This month we will draw TEN winners from our commenters and the winners will receive one of these two books, Hope for a Hurting Heart or To Let You Know I Care by our featured author this month, Cheryl Karpen.
Laura Hyers is a Tampa native, writer, and the newly wed wife of musician Caleb. She recently graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in literature and is currently teaching preschool. When not chasing a class of two-year-olds, Laura is writing and fighting fierce bouts of wanderlust. She loves music, reading, being near the ocean, and dreaming big over huge cups of coffee with her best friend Lakin. Laura blogs at http://littlebirdmarie.wordpress.com.
Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)