Deep thoughts with Ben
For whatever reason, March Madness 2017 has compelled me to finally express the way I view sports. If you know me, you know I’m not much of a sports fanatic. You will not catch me watching ESPN for 9 hours straight, waking up super early to tailgate for a game, or knowing stats about who won whatever in xyz year.
Growing up in Metro Detroit, I went through the motions of playing most team sports from soccer, baseball, hockey (floor), lacrosse etc. That’s simply the protocol. However, I noticed I never got much out of it other than lessons like sportsmanship, being a team player, and making friends. My father was my little league coach as well which was great.
During that same time, I noticed I got a lot out of individual creative outlets such as skateboarding, snowboarding, photography and tinkering with anything with an engine. I was the kid with the massive Lego set making cheesy start-stop animations with Gumby (nerd.) In February 2016 Mel and I decided it was time for a change and we migrated West to Northern California. Over the course of the past year, I found myself more engaged in the activities and hobbies in which I am truly interested in; to name a handful: hiking, photography, riding my motorcycle, snowboarding, and just exploring in general. These were all of the things I dreamt about doing when living in Chicago.
Over the course of 2016, Mel and I have made a lot of new friends in North Bay and SF proper and I find it very refreshing, during this March Madness season, the main conversation point over food is often geared more towards culture, food, hobbies and professional career progression; embracing individualism.
Realistically, I think no other statement from mom has ever been truer than ‘just be yourself’ than now. I finally feel like I’m in a place that I can be myself and the whole population isn’t programmed to sit inside and watch TV. Get out there and follow your passions. Your mother would want you to.
Side note: go follow my cousin Andrew Neeme ( @yayandrew ) on Instagram and YouTube. He is doing some pretty big things on YouTube as he shows the world an inside look what it’s like to be a pro poker player.