“How do I pick? I like them both,” I thought as I made my plan.
The decision was made for me — I couldn’t play tennis by myself, but I could play basketball.
So, after dropping my son off at school one recent Monday morning, I went to the store, bought the ball, and plotted my return — to the court.
Later that afternoon, I made my basketball debut on a concrete court at Bear Creek Regional Park.
I looked around to see if anyone was nearby as I tore open the cardboard surrounding my new ball. I was feeling shy about having an audience.
Then, I went for it. I dribbled. I shot. I faked. I practiced free throws and layups.
It felt good and familiar. “I’ve still got this,” I thought, smiling, even though I later calculated it’d been 26 years since I’d picked up a basketball.
I’d missed basketball, but I hadn’t known it.
Since that day, I’ve returned to the court a few times to sneak in some quick shots when I can.
When I’m on the court, it feels like a part of me has returned that I didn’t know was missing.
If it weren’t for the book "The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity" by Julia Cameron, I might not have picked up a basketball to play for my enjoyment. A friend and I are half-way through Cameron’s 12-week process of reclaiming your creativity, and it’s working.
Each morning you write three pages — essentially a brain dump — and each week you do an artist date. The artist date can be anything that sounds like fun to your inner child. The only rule is you have to do it by yourself.
For my first artist date, I turned on '90s music for a dance and sing-along party, and then I did a photo shoot of myself in my studio, alternating silly shots with serious ones. Another day, I hiked to an overlook and used colored pencils and a sketchbook to capture the fall colors of the mountain landscape before me.
Every time I do an artist date, I feel more like myself. I feel alive and in touch with parts of me I forgot existed — parts like my inner athlete.
I’ve been writing down ideas for other artist dates because, aside from "The Artist’s Way" assignment, I’m hooked. I can now see how closely linked creativity and play are.
When I play, I’m in touch with possibility, wonder, awe, magic. I feel free and less encumbered by life’s responsibility. I’m in the moment doing something that I want to do. To be honest, it feels like it's something I need to do, but I didn’t have permission to do it before.
Your turn. What fun activity from your past will you revisit? You might find a missing part of yourself patiently waiting for your return.
Joanna Zaremba is a writer, movement and mindset coach. She gives people the practical tools they need to deal with stress, so they feel good, access their own answers, and take action toward what matters most. She has lived in the Cheyenne Cañon neighborhood since 2012. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.