Back and across

In cricket, the ‘cut shot’ is played by a batsman off the back foot and across the body.

It requires timing, patience and skill.

As a kid I loved this shot.

So much so that each night I’d pester my dad to step onto the pitch (the vacant block next door) and bowl to me so I could practice. I mean, what else could he possibly want to do after spending 10 hours at school teaching adolescent kids maths and science?

“Back and across” he’d say.

“Back and across” I’d repeat out loud, and then to myself over and over “back and across, back and across, back and across”.

Ball after ball, minute after minute, hour after hour, until it was too dark for us to even see one another, let alone the red cricket ball hurtling towards me.

25 years later I find myself wondering: what skills are we repeatedly practicing each night with the same enthusiasm?

The skill of checking Insta every 17 seconds? Or the skill of actively listening to a story from a loved one?

The skill of binging 6 episodes of Schitt’s Creek on Netflix? Or the skill of reading a book?

The skill of doom scrolling Twitter? Or the skill of mindful meditation and yoga?

Each day we get to decide the skills we practice. What if we were more intentional about it?

Back and across.

PS. Rhymes with this post from March 2020 which feels like a global pandemic ago.