Football is Mindfulness in Motion!!

I would like to formally thank Bishop Sankey for helping me win an on-going argument with my husband. And yes, I get that in marriage there should be no ‘winners’ because that makes the spouse the ‘loser’. However, I also believe a little healthy competition every once in a while keeps things interesting (especially when I win).

When NFL Tennessee Titan Bishop Sankey was asked what advice he would give to the newly drafted players, he definitively answered, “Be in the now.” He talked about the invaluable insight that is gained when you are focusing all your attention on what’s happening in the moment.

As I see it, what Bishop was describing is mindfulness. Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, a pioneer in this field, defines mindfulness as: “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment.” I couldn’t wait to share Bishop’s words of wisdom with my significant other.

Here is the play-by-play that ensued:

Me: “Look what Bishop said! He’s talking about mindfulness! It’s exactly what I have been saying! Football truly is mindfulness in motion!!”

My darling spouse: “He’s not talking about mindfulness. He’s talking about being in the zone. When you get in the zone, nothing matters but that moment. You block out everything else.”

Me: “That’s mindfulness!”

His retort: “There’s more to it than that. There are things like down and distance. You always have to know how much time is left on the clock, when you need to get out of bounds, stuff like that.”

Me: “Don’t you need to have the ball in your hand before you go out of bounds? C’mon, we have all seen the guy start to move down the field before he secured the ball and he ends up dropping it.”

(sigh) My husband: “Yes, of course. You can’t get ahead of yourself. You have to make sure you secure the ball first.”

Me: “So, like Bishop said, you have to be in the now. That’s mindfulness!”

My weary opponent: “You are making this deep. It’s not that deep.”

Me: “Not that deep?!?! How can you say that?!?! Football is SO deep!! It’s about heart! It’s about connection- a connection to your teammates, to the moment, to the fire inside you. Think about the miracle plays that manifest when…”

Defeated defender: “Okay, okay, Anne, you win. I’m going to make myself a sandwich.”

He exits. Camera pans to me, dancing in the end zone.

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