Sunday, January 12, 2020

Celebrating 10 Years of Sports and Spirituality!

There seems to be two camps of people out there—those who believe we have started a new decade and those who don't. A stickler for accuracy, I listened to the NPR report "When Does the New Decade Begin? That's Debatable" hoping for an answer. 
"Really, a decade begins actually with the year ending in the numeral one," Sandi Duncan, the managing editor of the "Farmer's Almanac" told NPR. "There was never a year zero. So when we started counting time way back when, it goes one through 10. So a decade is 10 years. So in actuality, the next decade won't start until January 1, 2021."
Duncan's argument makes sense to me and I can't help but think the fact she's with the "Farmer's Almanac" is why I pitched my tent in her camp.
But Duncan's explanation didn't stop with new decades or partying like it's 1999. From her diatribe, I also learned "when the - "Almanacs" celebrated our 200th anniversary, we started printing in 1818, and yet the 2017 was our 200th edition. It's one of these mathematical conundrums that people can argue about until they're blue in the face." In other words, a ten year anniversary is to be celebrated in a year that's one year less than the actual number. 

Go ahead and count this out on your fingers. I began this blog in December 2009. Ten years from that fateful day, was actually in December 2018. What to do?! Have we run into another "potato/potato" moment? Should we call the whole thing off? Or rather, let's call the calling off, off? Right?! Yes! Here's why....

Just three weeks ago, Sports and Spirituality—this blog— turned 10 years old/had a *10-year anniversary*/is now a one decade in age. What started as a platform to publish a lengthy article I wrote about the University of Oregon men's golf coach, Casey Martin, has become a place of prayer, an avenue for exploration, and a cradle of creativity for me. 

Writing a blog has been a labor of love—truly an autotelic experience—meaning, the reward I receive is from the activity itself. There is no monetary gain. I do not blog for fame or recognition (believe me, my numbers don't say a whole lot about that!). I write about Sports and Spirituality because I have to write about it. The ideas and inspiration comes to me and must go somewhere. This blog has proven to be a worthy locale.
Twitter was just being born when the blog started.
I chose this for the Sports & Spirituality profile pic
Ten years of blogging has yielded a book—Pray and Practice with Purpose: A Playbook for the Spiritual Development of Athletes, as well as an elective course that I have now taught at two different high schools and to a group of parents. Blogging has prompted invitations to speak in places like Washington DC, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles and of course throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. I have made new friends though this medium, and hopefully mentored others, in particular aspiring bloggers.

In the past, when I told people I had a blog approximately every third person would admit they had one too. Today, such reports are far and few between—which is unfortunate as I do think blogging is a meaningful or perhaps unique way to connect to oneself, others and a larger community. It's never too late to add to your "20 for 2020" list!

I cannot say I have regretted a single posting I have written. Rather, the opposite is true. In this blogging program alone, I have over 122 drafts of postings that have yet to be published. Most never will come to fruition, but it's interesting to see what sparked my imagination yet lacked time? personal interest? motivation? connection? further material? to move further. I once read that when Bruce Springsteen passes on to his Beautiful Reward, the world will receive a great catalog of music that he never recorded. For perhaps the first time in my life, I felt like the Boss and I shared something professional in common ;-)

I do not have children, but in many ways writing a book or a blog, has given me the slightest insight into what parenting must be like. My writing is a reflection of me and ask me just one question about it, and you are in my good graces forever. 

I still have occasional dreams and visions of taking this blog to the next level—YouTube channel, weekly podcast, online course offering!!? but I'd still like to write another book, one that utilizes content from this blog in the near future. Open to suggestions....!

Ron Rolheiser said "God speaks to every element in the language it can understand." That language is sports. The opportunity to blog has only allowed me to share what I hope is some of God's word with you.
This posting has had over 10,000 views!
I should conclude with my favorite posting of all time. I do know my most popular post is "Catholics vs. Convicts: The Story Behind ESPN's Shirt of the Century." It should be, as I am friends with the co-creators who are two of the most colorful and engaging people I know. I've never done a scientific query, but more than likely every fifth posting is about the University of Notre Dame and every tenth one is about music (that's the Spirituality side!!). I have loved writing about my students and my school, parish and local communities. I want to personally thank the San Francisco Giants for three World Series in five years and the LA Dodgers for.... more than a great rivalry ;-) I could go on, but blogs ought to be here's to ten more years  and all that's to come in the next decade—whenever that may be.

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