I was purchasing hope, really. My Hail Mary came in the form of a pair of size ten Nike shoes. This was gonna be what fixes me. With new shoes, I will be complete.

I will never forget the day that my mom bought me the first pair of Air Jordans.I’m not sure if there was such a thing as $100 tennis shoes before that. I was so happy, I couldn’t wait to get home. I would finally be able to dunk a basketball, most likely from the free throw line.

Guess what?

I couldn’t dunk. Still can’t.

I had bought into the belief that I could buy my way through the hard work, escape the hours of training, avoid the dedication, and slide past the genetics necessary to become an NBA basketball player.

The knowledge that the shoes, the religion, the instrument, the suit, or the nutrition cannot be purchased in lieu of the effort necessary to become proficient at whatever it is I want to be is not enough to stop me from continuing to do it.

I pay a monthly fee for a nutrition plan. It does not work because I don’t follow it. I pay a gym fee to workout at place where I don’t get stronger because I don’t attend regularly. I buy “how-to” books online that don’t teach me “how-to” do anything because I don’t read them. I sign up for races where I don’t improve because I don’t like to run.

I buy shoes, I buy socks, I buy hydration vests, and I buy plans. I buy hope in the form material goods and label them as necessities.

Hard work is the gold bricks that back the currency created through hard work. Cash will get me to the game but it won’t let me play.

To quote a line from my favorite Nike commercial,

“Luck is the last dying wish of those who want to believe that winning can happen by accident, sweat, on the other hand, is for those who know it’s a choice.”

Work hard. Have some fun. If all else fails, buy the shoes. If you’re gonna skip the hard work part, at least look good hardly working.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,