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Reffing is one of mine, what's yours?

"I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can't have both." - Brene Brown

Three years ago, I decided to jump into the arena of officiating basketball. It’s been a fun and frustrating process. It’s fun to get back out on the court and give back to a sport I love, and frustrating because as familiar as the court is to me, reffing is a whole new ballgame and, very unfamiliar and uncomfortable.

There is the ego part of me that believes I should know how to do this already, I don't want to make mistakes, and I want to be good at this now.

And, boy, does this get in my way and creates a lot of anxiety and tension in my body.

Sometimes I wonder why I'm doing this, then I find myself wanting to get back out on the court because I want to practice again. I love the challenge. I love learning and growing.

I have found that officiating is very similar to being a police officer in that we are adjudicating rules, attempting to create a safe place for people, ruling in fairness (or we hope anyway), the uniforms...

It also is similar in that people don't like you and, more so, dislike your uniform when it rules against your side. People will easily yell and say mean things like you're a robot, not a thinking, and feeling human.

And, this is why I wonder sometimes, what am I doing? Why do I choose to be in such a competitive, many times, mean arena? What is this arena teaching me? Who is it that I'm being on the court? What kind of partner am I being to my ref teammates? How can I create a safe space for people to push their own physical, emotional, and psychological boundaries and comfort zones? How can I be more gentle and kind with myself as I make mistakes and grow? What else is possible beyond the win or the "W"?

For now, I have decided that being a basketball official is here in my life to be another platform to help grow me into a more expansive human, not just to be a good basketball official.

It's not about being a good referee.

Growing as a human is much more important, to me.

However, the cool part is, as I recognize this anxiety and tension in my body, the fears and shame that come up while I'm in this arena, I will most definitely become a better referee.

And then I can ask myself, what else is possible?

For now, I'm learning to be present with myself in this arena and see and feel ALL that comes up for me.

If you're willing to do anything that allows you to see your shame and fears and dare to let them be there, to love and cherish all of what comes up for you in any arena, you are choosing to be courageous over staying to be comfortable.

What would it take for you to expand past your self-limitations, fears, doubts, and shame? What would you choose if these were not in your way?



I am a master-in-training for being the space for myself to learn and grow and know the absolute truth of who I am. I am whole, healthy, abundant, love, and free…so are you. I forget this sometimes and that’s perfectly okay. I get to remember and forget and remember…for the rest of my life.

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