This topic took me way back in 2001 when I was developing a keen interest in basketball. To take my interest to the next level I joined a stadium near my place and the timings of practices were overlapping my tuition classes. But I had a plan to figure that out.
Needless to mention it came to my teacher’s notice. Apart from being my teacher she was my neighbor too and apparently in very good talking terms with my family. One day when I returned back from the practices I saw her sitting in the drawing room and having a serious discussion with my mother. After few minutes I joined them and got to know what they were discussing. She had issues with my playing as I was not going to become a basketball player professionally in my career. She contested that there is no future in sports and she has to choose either sports OR studies. She has to make her marks in studies not sports. I was taken aback by her comments. I kept quiet and waited for her to leave.
Just when she left I told my mother I can be good in studies AND basketball. I don’t even know what I am going to become after four years but as of now basketball excites me and gives me a lot of happiness. My mother heard me out patiently. I made her understand that I don’t have to choose between the two, I can be good in academics AND I can be good in sports.
With my family’s encouragement and support I took my interest ahead. I later played one Youth Open championship, two Open Junior championships and five consecutive school Regional and National tournaments. I fought for the ANDs of my life and will always do.
PS: Yes I didn’t become a professional basketball player but those intense practices and several championships have made me a better person. It has taught me a lot made me an all-rounder in school. I passed my secondary and higher secondary with flying colors. My parents were honored in the school and I made them proud. I take a lot of proud in the fact that I fought for my AND and proved the OR supporters wrong.