It started as a kid, dribbling a basketball up and down my street, or to a friends house. Counting how many times I could go through my legs without messing up. I went from 10, to 50, to 100, to where I just stopped counting. Everywhere I’d go, I’d just bounce the ball through my legs like it was normal. It helped the long journey, but more importantly, it was a challenge.
Let’s take it back further to when the regular Nintendo came out, and Super Mario Bros. was the new thing. I must have been 4 or 5 years old, and this had to be one of my first challenges. Needless to say, I beat the game within days. It didn’t stand a chance.
Maybe it was my cousin Shaun and his best friend Jarod. I would spend every summer by his house - he was like my brother, I looked up to him. Every time I went there, he was doing something competitive. Him and Jarod would go at it on the basketball court. If you didn’t know any better you would think they were fighting - looking back now, they were. Fighting for respect. It’s that drive to be better. They would even team up and pick on me, bullying me and showing me that I’m no match for their skill. Back then I was hurt. “Why is my cousin treating me like this?” Knowing what I know now, when you’re competitive, it’s hard to take it easy on someone. You want to beat them. Period.
Around this same time, I was introduced to Dragonball Z. Something completely new to me. Something so complex. Something so violent, but yet so sweet looking. Something that looks like a simple cartoon, was actually more detailed than your favorite blockbuster movie. I watched the way Goku carried himself. The nicest guy on the show, treated everyone with respect, even his enemies - but also be the savior of planet earth. He could defeat anyone, any obstacle. Nothing would get in his way, because he was driven by the love he had for his family and his world. I embraced that knowledge.
Every month is a blank canvas