It’s Not About Taking the Trash Out

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When I was a kid for almost a decade I attended the “World Famous Dixie Basketball Campand Country Club”

Well, that’s what they called it.

For two weeks, kids would pack up leave home and head to Southwest Mississippi Community College for long days of basketball filled knowledge.

At least that’s what I thought we were doing.

The camp was filled with lots of basketball, but it also had times set aside for camp skits and motivational talks.

Joe Dean Sr. started the camp and he had a knack for teaching us lessons that we wouldn’t understand for years, if not decades.

They would do room inspections everyday and during the afternoon rounds they would go through the rooms and we would get a pass or fail grade.

Failing meant you would get a “tour”.

You would get to “tour” 94 feet of the gym repeatedly while running and touching all the lines hahaha.

The messiest room would get the Toilet Paper Award……..and multiple “tours”, and I was a multiple time award winner 😉

I couldn’t possible scratch the surface of the things we we learned at this camp.  I went to this camp for years with a lot of guys who are still close to me today.

We still joke about all the little things they taught us about sweeping our rooms, turning the lights out (because they told us there was an energy crisis in America), making our beds and the infamous questions he would ask us everyday…

“What do you do when the trash is full???” 

To which three hundred kids would scream in unison “Take it out sir!!!”

As I think back now at the parents expressions when they attended the final day of camp and witnessed this it’s pretty funny.

In two weeks they trained kids to do what most parents can’t get them to do in a lifetime.

          It wasn’t about taking out the trash, or making your bed or any of that stuff.

          It was about attention to detail and taking pride in the little things.

It was about doing the small things well that eventually lead to a big thing.

But you can’t teach a 12 year old that.

Most of the time you can’t even teach an adult that!

25 years later I realize they weren’t teaching us about basketball, they were teaching us about life.

It’s not about “eating clean”…….it’s about creating healthy lifestyle choices that last forever.

It’s not about “doing all the reps”……….it’s about having integrity and holding yourself accountable.

It’s not about “squatting all the way down”……..It’s about keeping the standard the standard even if it’s difficult.

It’s not about “waiting to clean up until everyone else is done”………It’s about being a good teammate and having empathy.

It can be difficult to keep the end result in sight.  Sometimes we just have to trust the process and know that the lessons aren’t always learned on day one.

It takes time and practice.  And sometimes life will give us a “tour” and that’s ok.

Because we will always know what to do when the trash is full.

And that lesson is priceless.

Fern