My Dad taught me many things. Fortunately, the things he believed in and taught me stuck.
He taught me to be accountable for my actions. To admit when I messed up. Even more importantly to apologize and try to make amends to those I harmed.
He taught me to be self sufficient. If I wanted something done, I had better get off my duff and do it myself.
My Dad liked sports and encouraged me to play them. He was teaching me through sports too. I learned the simple truths of sport, where success or failure is so easily defined and measured. Either I hit the ball or I don’t. Excuses have no place here.
I learned when to stand up for myself. I learned when it was time to fight, and when it was tactically better to back off. I learned that sometimes it was important to get back up and stick my chin out even after I got knocked down.
I learned about how to compete and what it takes to win. And I learned how merely the act of stepping onto the field is a victory in and of itself.
I learned about balance. I learned how to enjoy good food and spirits and still take care of my body.
I learned how to relate to different people and different cultures. I learned empathy for their struggles.
The funny thing is that I cannot really remember my Dad sitting me down after my game to give me those lessons. They just happened. Somewhere along the line, I absorbed the wisdom of my Dad like the rays of the sun.
Thank goodness that I had a Dad who liked and encouraged me to play sports. I am guessing you did too or you would not be reading this. Go thank your Dad.