A dark horse emerges in the great sports-as-life debate

By Rabbi Marc Gellman, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear D:

Excuse me, D, but there are many reasons to fear life. We have no choice in facing its terrors (and joys). However, the only reason to face the terrors of surfing is because you freely chose to float on a small piece of fiberglass in the ocean where you look exactly like food to sharks swimming beneath you. I know life is tough, but I rarely have to spend my day spitting out sand in my mouth. When I surf, that happens to me all the time.


D from Long Island, N.Y., may have a winner that beats both golf and baseball and is by far the funniest. D chose the "three-legged race" (you know, the race where you tie your right leg to the left leg of your partner and you sprint across a finish line while trying not to fall on your faces ...

"I am making a case for 'the three-legged race.' You can't participate unless you are willing to work with another person. (Even people who consider themselves independent and live alone work with others to make their way through life.) You don't need expensive equipment, coaches or genetic predisposition to enjoy the game and be successful, although it is important to find a compatible partner. The better you can cooperate, respect and get along with your partner, the more enjoyable the journey and the fewer times you will stumble or fall. From the perspective of a child, getting to the finish line first is usually not the most important thing. The most important things are working together with your partner, laughing when you fall then getting back up as quickly as you can, and just enjoying yourself. No matter the weather or other external conditions, you can keep on going. When the race is over, if you have kept a good attitude, you have joyful memories."


Dear D:

If the three-legged race is in fact a sport ... you win!

(Send ALL QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS to The God Squad via email at Rabbi Gellman is the author of several books, including "Religion for Dummies," co-written with Fr. Tom Hartman.)



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