The other day it rained and I skipped playing ultimate frisbee in Shanghai.
It reminded me of playing in college and after. In the Northeast of the U.S., especially in late fall, leading to Regionals, it rained and snowed a lot. Weather didn’t change that you simply went to practice. We practiced and played in snow, wind, rain, etc.
I played disc the year I lived in Paris, taking a year off from school. We played on Sunday afternoons there. The fields, incidentally, were at a beautiful spot at the park in front of Les Invalides, pictured here:
I remember one Sunday it rained like a monsoon. Huge droplets of rain, densely packed, falling straight down all day long. I showed up to the fields in the rain. Nobody was there. I waited a while. Eventually I called someone (an effort at the time since cell phones didn’t exist yet).
I asked, “where is everyone?”
He said, “Josh, it’s raining pretty hard out.”
I said, “Oh yeah, that makes sense.”
I felt deflated, like a big source of magic in my life disappeared. Or like someone telling the narrator in the Little Prince his drawing looked like a hat.
Until then it never occurred to me that someone wouldn’t play just because the weather wasn’t great.
I see that perspective as a childlike innocence. I try to keep it toward things I like in life. Sports don’t mean the same thing to me today they did then, so I don’t feel too bad about skipping playing the other night. I mean, I’m not trying to make a team or big tournament.
Partly I’m still aware of when I skip something for a once-superficial reason. More importantly, I’m aware of noticing my values changing.
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