From the title of this story I think you can already get a sense of how this is going to go, but please, bear with me here.
Background Info/Setting the Scene:
For those who don’t already know, I’m currently in Germany playing for the Gießen 46ers. We are currently smack in the middle preseason. For my fellow athletes, I need not say anymore, you know what that means and what I’m currently experiencing. For my non-athletes that aren’t familiar with this particular time of the season, suffice it to say that it’s one of the more challenging/grueling portions of the season, and in some cases more so than the grind of the actual season.
During this time, off days are one of your most prized possessions, or favorite past times so to speak. Usually we get one per week, and when they come about they are to be thoroughly enjoyed by doing nothing (speaking for myself of course). My off days are what I like to refer to as my Triple R day (Triple R = RRR = Rest, Recover, Recuperate). That basically means I quite literally lay on my a** all day and not do a damn thing. Even for food, I don’t cook, I order in. Full fledged bum mode is in effect all day. Only thing semi-strenuous that I do is go to the bathroom and maybe stretch but even that on some days, depending on how the previous week went, is pushing it.
The Actual Story:
About a week ago, after two back to back tough games on the road (we won one, lost one), we were given a day off. Now you can imagine how happy I am about this. I’m ecstatic. I can’t wait to get home and activate my bum mode. Also keep in mind that at this point it has been about a month since I left the crib (Houston, TX/USA), so I’m missing home very much. More specifically, I’m missing some good ol’ Nigerian food. This craving has been building up for quite a while now. So much that I found an African restaurant here in Gießen but they only served Ethiopian food which I don’t mind but definitely nothing like the Nigerian food I want.
I get home after these games, eat some leftover food I had in my fridge, hang out for a little while, and finally go to sleep. I wake up the next morning hungry as usual (if you know me you know I don’t play with my food). However, at this point, I think it’s too early to start ordering food so I decide to kill time doing other things. To help keep me from going crazy from hunger I eat a Twix bar, a couple of Twizzlers, and cookie. As time passes, I start to peruse my little food delivery app; seeing what restaurants I might like and what I want to order. Is it going to be Chinese? Indian? Pizza? Or even some German spots that I hadn’t tried before? Then it occurred to me that I’m still craving Nigerian food.
The lightbulb went off in my head at that point. I started to think if Gießen, a relatively small city, can have an African restaurant with Ethiopian food, then Frankfurt a very large metropolitan city, and a world hub for that matter, definitely has to have some Nigerian food. After-all, we Nigerians are everywhere (no joke, not bragging either, we really are everywhere). Next step was to fire up google and do some research. I proceed to open google and do a simple search for “Nigerian restaurants in Frankfurt.” Lo and behold, the hits came pouring in. Ok I’m lying it was only about 3 but still, that was more than I had bargained for so I’m gushing at this point. I can already feel my mouth watering...
Let me preface this by saying this is no way shape or form a complaint.
Ok I’m lying it is a complaint. However, it’s not a complaint about my life and what it entails. It is a complaint about the stereotypes involved with it.
Today’s post was first inspired by a conversation I had a with a friend a few months back. They found out I was in Japan and as soon as I told them, here came the onslaught of questions...Where have you been? What have you seen? How was Tokyo? How’s the night life? Did you visit this? Did you take a picture with that?
Those were all valid questions but I had to find a very polite way to bring them to the simple realization that as much as those were valid questions I wasn’t in Japan on vacation. On that day, I decided that I should make a PSA and it would be done via a blog post. The blog post would be about being overseas and what people automatically thought when I told them what part of the world that I was. Suffice to say I hadn’t gotten around to writing it or it would have been up before now. Then last week I saw an article online in which someone had so eloquently described the very sentiments that I felt about this topic. While reading, it was like the writer was in my head and then left to go write it, then didn't tell me about it. So instead of paraphrasing, or summarizing or just flat out repeating what she said in the article, here’s the link.
The Truth About Playing Overseas by Tiffany Clarke.
It is written by a fellow blogger and overseas hooper. I’m sure all my other overseas athletes can thoroughly agree and identify with these sentiments.
Read, enjoy, and feel free to share your thoughts and opinions as well.
It's been a while since I updated my blog. So long that even my mom called me from Nigeria the other day and asked me what was going on. I told her I've just been chillin' (truth is, I have a bunch of posts but they're either not finished or posted because they aren't where I want them to be). She's said ok but she's waiting on my next update...so here it is.
I'm an only child (this is not a complaint just a fact). Some people easily write that off and automatically assume that I'm spoiled, but I beg to differ. I think my parents did a good job of instilling some important ideals in me that help me to this day (but that's besides the point, just thought I'd put that out there...people will still have their opinions). I say that to say this...growing up the closest person to sibling I had was my uncle who was 10 years older than me. To this day I give him a lot of credit for my early maturity and my ability to conduct myself in the presence of older people. Every time I acted out he wouldn't let me hang out with him and his friends and being that young I always wanted to hang out with him and his older "cool" friends. Haha.
Now to the point of this post. My uncle had a philosophy or something he used to say all the time. I don't know if even he remembers saying this a lot but it stuck with me. What he always said was....
"Enjoy life when you're young, and tell the story when you're old."
Now this can be interpreted a lot of different ways. My interpretation of this is to live life with no regrets. Now this shouldn't be confused with the now known trend of YOLO (you only live once...like people didn't know they had only one life to live). Living life with no regrets to me means when you make decision stick to it. Don't second guess yourself. We as human beings innately know what's right and what's wrong. Now for the things that seem to be in that grey area go with your gut. If it doesn't go your way, oh well, you can't regret the decision you made. Even though I know it's tough not to when you're in the moment.
I've also noticed when I talk to old or older people they love to reminisce. You can physically see the joy in their face when they talk about the old times. When I tell them about some of the struggles in my life, more often than not they smile before they dole out their advice or their opinion on the situation. It's sort of like they're trying to convey to me to enjoy the struggle because when I get older I'll look back at these times as the good ol' days like they do. With that in mind I want to make my todays as memorable as possible so when I look bad and I'm telling my stories when I'm older it'll be worth telling. I want it to bring back nothing but good memories, feelings, and emotions.
In an attempt to keep this short and not so preachy I'll end it here. As always, I'll take some feedback...
What's your interpretation of my uncle's saying? What are the things you think are vital to enjoying life? Should the struggles you have at a young age really be enjoyable? Are there some wrong decisions that one can't help but regret?
Finally...what is your honest take on this YOLO trend?
This is my first blog post....EVER!
Writing has never been one of my strong suits but it's definitely something that I'm currently working on getting better at. I figured what better way to challenge myself than to share some of the things I write with the general public and take some criticism. Especially those that are constructive.
This leads me to the point of this post which is to outline a few of the reasons I started this website. For one I'm a basketball player and I was at a conference/meeting/educational forum that dealt with life outside basketball. One of the messages I got from said conference besides saving my money and investing wisely was to make sure my E's balanced out. The E's in this case are Entertainment and Education. The message was to make sure that even though my life, inevitably, would be consumed by basketball, and most basketball players spend their time outside of basketball working on getting entertained, an equal amount of time should be spent getting educated.
This website is one of my many efforts to balance my E's out. Unquestionably it's possible that the majority of the content you see on this site could seem like entertainment but the reasons for that are a lot of the things I find to be educational may not be what you find to be educating. Also, a good portion of the time I dedicate to educating myself is spent reading and it takes some time to clearly outline, describe, and convey what I learned from what I read in writing (I'm working on that). Also I find taking trips, seeing different parts of the world, and having new experiences to be extremely educational as well. Hence, this website is going to cover a wide array of subjects and activities. Expect a lot of pictures, videos, music, writing, motivational quotes...etc.
Besides being a basketball player which takes up most of my life, I'm an amateur web designer (really amateur...this website is my best work), camp coach/counsellor, and a professional life liver. By life living I mean do my best to live in the moment and enjoy the present; enjoy what life has to offer today and take everything else in stride. Of course this is done with a strong consideration for what the future has to offer as well.
It’s all about growth and progression and I hope this is the beginning of something great.
Thank you and I appreciate your support.