Wearing Shoes that Don’t Fit !
Apr 10 Written By Tamekia Sanders
When we are first born we are born in a world full of possibilities. Like many I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. In fact I didn’t let what I saw each day define who I wanted to be in life. We chose our paths from the moment we are born. I choose to be different!
Of course as children we think we can do anything. It’s hard trying to tell a child they can’t do something or become something. The zeal and determination of a child is one like no other. It can be so contagious that even as adults it can cause us to pause and think for a minute. Children do what they are taught and what they see most of the time. The bible tells us in Proverbs 22:6 (AMPC) Train up a child in the way he should go and in keeping with his individual gift or bent, and when he is old he will not depart from it. One translation says “Point your kids in the right direction and when they’re old they won’t be lost”.
I remember growing up not having the most stylish clothing, sneakers or hairstyles. Talk about not wanting to go the bus stop in the mornings in fear of getting joked. In school I never really felt like I fit in. The neighborhood I grew up in was pretty rough and the kids from my neighborhood always had beef with each other which resulted in fights all the time. So in school it was hard for me to trust anyone because of what I saw all the time. I realized early that everyone wasn’t my friend and if you told someone something the whole school would know your business by the end of the day.
I was such a tomboy so I never had girls as friends. I hung around boys most of the time and played basketball. This was just who I was and what I liked to do. I wanted to be the next Michael Jordan so I didn’t see anything wrong with how I looked! I had all his shoes, bought the jerseys and tried to play like him. I got called a lesbian because I liked to dress that way (tomboy). I didn’t realize I was sending the wrong message and attracting unwanted spirits. It was the most hardest thing to have to face at such as a teenager. I wanted to fit in so bad but I wasn’t trying to compromise myself to be liked especially in that manner. I was never the kind of person to just go along with things so I knew I had to make a change quick. I remember watching my first WNBA game and seeing Lisa Leslie, Sheryl Swoops, Cynthia Cooper, Dawn Staley and so many more on TV. I was blown away at how beautiful they were, skilled and talented they were. I said I want to make it to the WNBA one day. They were my role models at the time. Tina Thompson would wear bright red lipstick, Long lashes and makeup when she played and I was like wow; She wearing makeup and playing basketball that’s crazy lol. Looking at interviews of the players, seeing them before the game and after the games all dressed up made me realize it was okay to be girly and still play ball. I used to be ashamed at how my buff my arms were and how “muscular” most people would say I looked.
It was at that moment when I realized I was painting an image of myself that didn’t reflected who I was or who God created me to be. God made me different from the moment I was born and I knew it. Not different in a way where I was questioning my identity, but in a way where I felt comfortable in my own skin. Everyone has different makeup and background of where they come from but I knew mine was special. I never cared much of what others thought of me but it didn’t mean it didn’t bother me at times. I begin to dress more feminine and began to understand more who God created me to be; “A Game Changer” and one to Break Stereotypes. Now that I am grown, Married and have a daughter who also loves basketball I want to lead her down the right path. The game of basketball has changed in so many ways since growing up. Even more i’m noticing the lack of femininity in the sport and it drives me crazy. I also coach basketball for middle school age girls and I see how they are falling into this trap of “ trying to fit in”. Calling themselves names they hear that can lead to opening the door for the enemy to move in. Playing games on social media that leads them into kissing each other, touching and the list goes on. And that’s how it all begins.
I’m not here to pass judgement on anyone but bring light to this matter. It happened to me and I certainly don’t want it to happen to anyone else. I know what it felt like and see how it is destroying our future. I eat, sleep and breath basketball and that will never change. Don’t let playing the game of basketball cause you to have an identity crisis because you want to be the next Lebron James, Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan. Focus on being the Next You and making your name Great just how God made you!