I use to appear painfully awkward when throwing a football. I threw like a drunken monkey with no sense of direction or strength. My stomach would churn when someone would say, “hey Josh, throw that ball over here.” It’s one thing for me to safely portray my masculinity as an Idaho farm boy. But not knowing how to throw a football seemed almost unmanly. I felt some requirements for my man card were grilling steaks, changing sparks plugs and throwing a football.
At a family reunion, I asked my dad and brothers to teach me to throw the football. It was a bit embarrassing for me to ask but I thought, “it’s now or never”. After an hour of throwing with them, I had made no improvement. They even demonstrated what I looked like when throwing. I wanted to shoot myself. Any man who was throwing like me should never be allowed near a football.
When I returned home, I youtubed ‘how to throw a football’ and decided I was going to practice throwing everyday until I could. Everyday after work for 1 hour for 5 months, I would stop at a park and throw the football. Alone. I would throw the ball and walk. Throw the ball and walk. At times I had to mentally block out people around me. I can only imagine what they thought as they watched me awkwardly throw a football with no one to catch on the other end. One time, a man asked if he could throw with me. I gladly accepted his offer.
5 months of daily football throwing blessed me in ways I didn’t anticipate:
Bettered my relationship with God
Going to the park to throw the football quickly became the highlight of my day. I was giving myself a full hour of zero distractions. No cell phone. No people. Just me, the football, and God. It was my daily ‘Josh and God’ time. I would talk to God out loud or silently while throwing. And we had some great conversations. Conversations I didn’t feel comfortable having while ‘kneeling’, yet God seemed okay talking with me as we threw the football.
Bettered my relationship with myself
While throwing the football alone everyday, I was building my relationship with myself. I would check myself on my character, my actions, and my self-love. Not self-love like a narcissist. But self-love that I’m a son of God and should treat myself as such.
I became a better man
A direct result of these daily conversations with God and myself while throwing the football was I became a better whole man. I became better at being present with deity and myself. My ability to recognize the Spirit’s guidance was strengthened. I grew to love God and myself more fully. And I finally learned to throw a football.