At the young age of 15 my arms and thighs were humongous. I had extra flab on the sides and a fat bulging out belly. I was the epitome of obese.
Just like any other obese kid in this country I was constantly bullied and called names throughout my school life. I sucked at physical activities, and always felt weaker than the other guys around me.
It was horrible. Both physically and mentally
I decided to lose weight, and in a rage tried all kinds of crash diets and calorie restrictions (only to later realise that they don’t do good to you).
By the time I was 17, I was somehow less fat but was still weak; Couldn’t manage a single push-up
I was still the guy whose name was called last when teams were drafted, sometimes the name wasn’t even called. And I was too scared to ask the “cool” kids to let me play with them cause I was scared I would suck and be ridiculed.
So I just stopped participating and got too comfortable on my own.
Long Story Short : Getting out of the familiar is tough.
It takes courage to make even the smallest of change. So one evening, I went to the park to face my fears and fight my anxiety.
No, I did not go up to those ‘cool’ kids to ask them if they’d let me play. Instead I got myself a new basketball and invited few other kids like me who too were always standing on the side-lines waiting. It wasn’t easy. We could hear the cool kids passing comments. I was anxious and nervous and contemplated my decision.
But I was so done with standing on the side-lines and waiting for an invitation. I was tired of being the ‘leftover’. It didn’t matter anymore what other’s thought of us.
Yes, surely it was tough on day one. We couldn’t even catch a pass properly- putting the ball in the basket was a long haul. But it felt awesome. It was the first time in my life that I had so much fun – one of the best days of my life. Slowly, our small group of ‘misfits’ encouraged each other, tried to slow down and learn. We continued this for weeks. The kids still tried to be little us by passing rude comments standing on the side-line.
One day I gathered enough courage to talk back and challenged them to come and play against us, “Why are you just standing there and passing comments, come on the ground and show me what you got” I said.
And they did come. Though we lost that match but the tough competition we gave them compelled them to respect us (probably for the first time ever) and eventually all of us started playing together everyday. We earned each other’s friendship and respect. Now we were all just one big group of kids who encouraged each other and helped each other learn.
All it took was a little bit of courage to take that first step.
So I want to ask you- Are you standing on the sidelines waiting for an invitation?
Well, it’s not going to come to you. You need to take action. Take that one small step towards a better you.
Don’t be afraid. You’ll feel great. You’ll feel more alive and energetic.
Unlike this story your first step might not be hugely successful, it may take some time to get there, maybe a lot of pitfalls in between too. But let life be a trampoline, the more we fall or the higher we fall, the higher we jump back too.