As I drove home two weekends ago, I recorded a thought through Audioblogger (which, as it happens, won’t be recording for blogger much longer) and I thought it was worth writing down here as well.

One of the things I found interesting this weekend as I was home for Elias’s birthday, was the interaction that I had with my dad. I’ve had a few times to interact with him over the past few weeks and I’ve been surprised not only by him but also by me and how much I thought I was getting older and how much I was getting to be like him. One of the interesting things I saw was when we played football. Elias, dad and I were all throwing it together out in the yard and I was throwing it really well. I have been throwing it really well lately with friends when we go out and play, and so I was launching perfect spirals to my dad and he was throwing them back to me as he has for years. But as we were throwing I was thinking to myself that, you know, I’m getting to be pretty good, I’m getting to be pretty accurate at distance and overall, pretty close to being like him. I was really proud of myself. But, as in many things, right when I think I’m getting as good as I need to get or really getting accurate or skilled at something, usually something comes along and shows me I have ways to improve. So when we were throwing, maybe thirty or forty-minutes into it, I started realizing he wasn’t even throwing with his right hand, he was throwing with his left hand and he’s right handed. So I looked at him and I said, “How long you been throwing with your left hand?” and he said, “Well, I threw a little bit with my right hand when we started but then I’ve just been throwing with my left hand the whole time.” Then I asked him, “Can you still throw with your right hand?” and he said, “Sure,” and threw a perfect spiral to me right handed. I was thinking, man…“It’s pretty easy,” I said, “I guess you don’t forget.” “Nah,” he said, “it’s like riding a bike.” That really cracked me up.

It’s really interesting to me, that we all have those kinds of things happen (and not always in football exactly). When someone older than us, or our fathers or mothers, does something and they do it really well we don’t really pick up on how skilled they are and we don’t realize that there is always some way for us to improve. I might be getting very good with my right hand throwing, but when I tried to throw left handed it reminded me of Elias growing up and trying to throw for the first time. There is always that chance to look forward and realize that the goal isn’t necessarily to reach perfection and some state of not learning any more but to constantly challenge myself and learn how to get better. That’s one of the things that I saw this weekend that I really thought was enjoyable. Right when you think you’ve got it all under control, the guy’s throwing left-handed.