I didn’t catch a football until I was in my 40s. Mainly because no one had ever thrown me one.
I was encouraged, invited (cajoled! Forced!) by my friends from improv class to be part of their coed touch football team in this actual league where you had matching t-shirts and everything.
You don’t understand, I said. I don’t know anything about this game. I will not be good. In fact, I will be a liability.
They did not care, and they would not take no for an answer. Mainly because, well, they weren’t my career coaches–they were my friends and they were one girl shy of a full roster.
If you could paint a picture of imposter syndrome, it was me in that stiff team shirt that first day. Everyone lined up and I wanted to wave my arms and say, “Stop! I should not be here. Can you not see I should not be here? I am an imposter and I’m about to ruin everything.”
But I didn’t. I just ran around and pretended I knew what I was doing. Sometimes I was well into running an offensive route before realizing we were on defense. Oh, I was a mess.
And then, a few games in, I caught the ball.
Then, later in that season, I scored a touchdown. Then another.
We won the league championship that season. And the next. Though to be honest, I never know the score and sometimes have to ask after if we won or not.
Did I have a secret talent for football? God no. No no no. And I did not “follow my passion” onto the field, you can be sure of that.
Guess what I became? A passionate and devoted member of that team.
We’ve got passion backwards, and it’s making life harder than it has to be. Let’s talk about it: