A lesson from the bench

Hi there! You might think the title of this post is something related to a judge’s bench. Or a work bench. Wouldn’t that be so clever? Well, no. I’m not a judge and I don’t make things out of wood. This goes all the way back to middle school basketball.

Yep, I was one of the guys who only played when we were winning by a million points. Well, there was one time coach put me in because my girlfriend attended the game. I asked him that week if I could play in the first half and surprisingly, he did. But besides that I was mostly riding the bench.

It wasn’t all bad, though. From the sidelines there were two things I learned about myself, one of which I wish I had learned a lot earlier. The first is that after a loss, I never really felt bad because it couldn’t have been my fault. Remember how I never played?

Second, and this… I don’t think it’s fully registered yet but I have a memory I’ll never forget. In a team talk during a half time or maybe after I game, I don’t remember the scenario but it was definitely either half time or after the game, one of our starters was addressing the team morale and said this…

“The only one I hear encouraging us is Ben.”

That was many years ago but it’s stuck with me. As a middle schooler, being better suited as a team manager or something behind the scenes didn’t register. All I knew is that I liked playing basketball so I just had to be on the team.

As an adult, I’ve learned that I thrive behind the scenes, and in a support role. This is my personality. Do I still love playing sports? You better believe it. Can I still take my older brother to the rim? Obviously*. Did my girlfriend love watching me play in the first half?

All that to say, I like discovering that traits I like about myself have actually been part of my personality for a long time, even if I didn’t notice them as a kid growing up. Am I the best encourager? No. There is always room for improvement, and I can also be harsh with my words, which is, I guess, the other end of that same pendulum. But little Ben in middle school might have been on to something and now adult Ben is going to be more intentional about that personality trait thriving a bit more.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Out of the Wilderness

*My older brother won’t read this, so I can get away with telling you all that I’m better at basketball. Truth is, he’s better at every sport we’ve ever played. I tell him that, but for now just let me have this one, mmmmmk? 🙂

Published by Ben Wilder

Since 2005, I've called Nashville home. I'm the leader of the pack, which includes an 13-year-old beagle and an 11-year-old blue heeler mix. My days include writing, video editing, and other fun activities. Thanks for checking out my blog, I hope you enjoy it!

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