My Own Little White World – Part 2

As I sift through my next set of memories, I am surprised that the ones that stand out the most involved TV and toys. We shopped at stores with a diverse clientele and occasionally ran into a black home school family, but most of the people I interacted with regularly other than my sister were white. Even though my mom worked hard to teach us a balanced view of history, most of my early education on race that I remember came from shows like Family Matters (sorry, Mom…).

Family Matters

While I spent my youngest years blissfully unaware of racial tension, this came to a crashing halt around age 5. That was the year they aired an episode of Family Matters called Fight the Good Fight written by Sara V. Finney and Vida Spears. It featured Laura leading a campaign to celebrate Black History Month at her school. When all seemed to be going well, she found a horrible note and the N-word spray painted on her locker. I know it made an impact, because I had to take a break after re-watching this scene and explain to our 6 year old why I was crying.

Ewing

This word came up again not too much later on a more personal level. I was crazy about sports, specifically the Indiana Pacers. By default, this meant that the New York Knicks were my arch enemy. When I was at my grandparents’ house once day, we were watching a Knicks game when my grandfather used the N-word when referring to Patrick Ewing. I remember feeling sick and confused. I didn’t understand how someone I loved and looked up to could be filled with so much hate.

AddyAnother important year of my life was 1993 when American Girl release the Addy doll. I devoured all of her books and was elated when I got the doll as a birthday gift. Her story was brought home even more when my history club spent a year studying the underground railroad. When I was sharing how much I loved Addy with one of my friends, she said something like, “I wouldn’t want an Addy doll. I like to think of my American Girl dolls as my children, and I can’t imagine having kids who don’t look like me.” I don’t remember if I responded, but in that moment I felt confused and deflated. My little 9 year old brain couldn’t comprehend why my friend couldn’t wrap her mind around owning an Addy doll.

 

I was only beginning to see the realities of the world, but I didn’t like them. Around the same time, Reggie Miller had a local talk show on TV. During every show, he recognized people who were making a difference in their community with an award. I don’t think I’ve ever shared this with anyone, but at the time I daydreamed about winning that award for racial reconciliation. I didn’t know how to make a difference, and I still often don’t. I was not, am not, and never will be the answer. I just pray that the dream of that little girl would come true starting in the church so that the rest of the world will see Who is the answer.

Volleyball Training Program

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I always know that it’s going to be a good blog post when I’m crying when I write it. This is not one of those posts. Don’t get me wrong, I love volleyball. However, it’s not really a deep subject.

When I was younger, my primary concerns in the off season were to practice my skills and maintain conditioning. Things have gotten a little more complicated these days. Some of the most important joints in volleyball are trouble spots for me now. My right rotator cuff is partially torn (not painful, though, since I’ve gone through physical therapy). My left shoulder now hurts in a similar way to how my right shoulder used to feel. My back and hip fluctuate between various degrees of pain. I could go on.

With all of this in mind, I need to figure out the best way to get ready for next season. Here are my thoughts.

  • I could use some sprints. The faster I can get to the ball, the less I have to throw myself on the ground.
  • It’s probably smart for me to start doing my physical therapy exercise on my left shoulder to see if that helps.
  • My back and hip tend to feel best when I’m doing strength training like kettlebells and deadlifts. The issue is that those types of exercise also tend to lead to shoulder pain eventually. So, I need to implement lower body strength training that doesn’t involve my shoulders. Squats, perhaps (although, those sometimes hurt my knees…sigh).

 

 

Under the Sun

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Someone at work mentioned that I was tan today. I would call that an interesting definition of the color that has appeared on my face:

 

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I’m loving the warm weather. Spending time out in the sun has given me a lot of opportunities to be active. I’ve been rediscovering things that I loved when I was younger. I’ve been reading more (it’s perfect reading on the porch weather!), feeding a neighbor cat (a “pet” without obligations), and playing in the dirt (aka gardening).

There’s nothing new under the sun, including sunburns. I get them so easily. You’d think I’d learn to wear sunscreen at some point. I guess this is the year of being a grown up, so I better go buy some. Here are some things that have been keeping me busy lately.

 

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Working in the garden

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Soccer all morning on Saturday

Hot Cheetos in My Yogurt

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As I was sitting at my computer after work and trying this new flavor of Chobani Flip, Facebook yelled at me. Apparently, it’s been 10 days since my last blog post. So, here I am with nothing to exciting other than the fact that I love mango and this yogurt tastes like mango yogurt with hot Cheetos dumped in it. That probably sounds disgusting to most people, but I thought it was surprisingly tasty. Still odd, but tasty.

On a completely unrelated note, I have officially committed to coaching a Preschool/Kindergarten soccer team with my wonderful friend Melissa. I played one season of club soccer in college, and it was a halfhearted attempt because I was also in a play at the time. To sum it up, I was much better at playing a bear in the Magician’s Nephew than I was at playing soccer. However, I’m confident that I’m better that soccer than a significant percentage of 4-year-old kids. More good news is that my friend is a soccer expert and great with kids.

Since I’ve been slacking lately, I’ll post again tomorrow with some goal updates for March. Happy Leap Day, everyone!