If you have followed us for any length of time you are probably used to seeing videos of me and my friends battling it out on the court playing 1v1 basketball. You probably wondered how did this thing get started and what exactly is the point of the games? Even if you haven't, I thought i'd pause and give you a little insight behind the madness known as "The 100".
I had lunch today with my friend Tyson who I call the "co-founder" of "The 100". We recalled how this crazy game got started. I would love to tell you that it was a carefully thought out plan to achieve some greater purpose in life, but it would be a gross oversight of the truth. The simple truth is that the game came about one day about 8 years ago when my friend Tyson and I were getting together to play basketball one more time before he and his family moved out of town. Basketball was one of the things that we had in common and enjoyed doing together. We just couldn't shoot around and talk, we needed to be putting in some work, getting our sweat on.
We had a limited amount of time to play so we just decided to play until we ran out of time. Who needed a game to 11 like most people do. That is just not enough for two super competitive guys. So we played 2's and 3's and went at it. First we thought it was going to 25. The game went back and forth, matching jumper for jumper, post move for post move. Quickly we got to 25 but that wasn't enough. We both wanted more so we decided to stretch it to 50. To say it was competitive was an understatement. We just couldn't stop at 50, The clock on the wall was telling us that time was getting short but with the pace that we were going at, we figured that we could definitely stretch it out to 75. The legs were feeling good and the competitive flow was there so we went for it. At 75 the game was still close so we decided that we might as well make it to 100. By the time we finished, we had left every thing on the floor. We knew that it was going to be our last run together and we needed to make it an epic battle. The game didn't disappoint. What a way to send off a friend and competitor with a game worthy of the friendship we had developed. It left a lasting impression that has stayed with me over the years.
It was about pushing yourself to do something beyond what you think is possible. It was about having the stamina to push yourself when you are tired but you know that you have a goal that you need to meet. It was about doing something together that set up the chance to push each other to the limit. It helped to set the foundation for a relationship that would help the both of us to bring out the best in each other. Simply put, we're out there getting #bettertogether
For Tyson and I, today's lunch was the first time we have been able to see each other since he's moved back to Chicago. It was like we had just played the game yesterday. We have kept in touch over the years but we've not had the chance to get together in person. One of the things that we talked about was how our relationship has remained in tact because of the foundation that we established years ago. Basketball was just one of the shared passions that we both enjoyed. Our relationship is rooted in our faith in God and the shared experience of serving in church ministry. There are many similarities that we share, but for us the court is a special place where we can allow ourselves to let it all out.
Over the years, "The 100" has become one of those foundations that have helped to start and build some great "ironsharpening" relationships. I don't even know how many of these games that I've participated in, but every game seems to be an opportunity to build something special. Even for those for whom basketball isn't their first sport, "The 100" has become a challenge that they are willing to take on to see what they have in them. The game provides a platform for both opponents to share life together. Especially for men, we can't just get together and talk about life, we have to be doing something. There is something about competing/doing battle with someone that breaks down walls that would ordinarily prevent a quality relationship from happening. It's the shared experience that opens the door.
I have written several articles about the power of competition and the relationships built through it. The article "Better Together: Building Ironsharpening Relationships" I shared about the power of sports to build relationships.
"The bonds created when engaged in athletics are among the strongest. Imagine what could happen when you choose to use sports as a way to invest in the lives of others, pushing them towards becoming all that God intends them to be?
As a life coach for the last two decades, I have used sports as a platform to build meaningful relationships, investing in athletes, building leaders. The reason I do it this way is that as an athlete I've seen and experienced the bonds created through sports.
1 Peter 4:10 says "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:” The ability to play a sport is a gift from God. In an earlier post I talked about the idea that your ability to play the game is a gift that comes with responsibility. I want to take that thought a step further and suggest that sports can be the platform you use to make someone else's life better.
This is the thought behind why I use the game of basketball as a way to build relationships that build better people. "As iron sharpens iron, so does one man to another" (Proverbs 27:17) is the foundational text that I base these "ironsharpening" sessions on. There's something about engaging in competition that creates the foundation for relationship building. What starts out as some good 1v1 competition ends up being the start of a valuable friendship."
I would not trade the relationships that I have had the pleasure of building over the last 8 years with "The 100" for anything. It's something that I will continue to do for as long as I am physically able to. I encourage you to either give "The 100" a try or find something similar that will help lay the foundation for a friendship that can last for years to come. A friendship where the both of you can grow as individuals and push yourselves to the greatness that you were intended to live in!
Stay Forever Strong!