There's something about sports movies that make you want to cry. It usually doesn't matter what sport it is but there's something about basketball movies in particular that really get to you. Maybe it's because you recently got into watching basketball with your brother or maybe you secretly loved sports your whole life. You're not quite sure what it is but you know it's there.
For the past couple of years, your brother would constantly ask you "What's your deepest fear?" He'd barge into your bedroom and ask you this question and no matter how you responded, he'd walk away looking disappointed and upset and wouldn't bring it up again.
You would spend the rest of your day thinking about your fears. You'd think about who you are, who you were becoming, and who you wanted to be. And every single time you'd walk up to your brother about fifteen to twenty minutes later and tell him what your deepest fear was, hoping you answered correctly.
"Commitment", "failure", and "death" were all wrong answers. He'd do the same head shake and sometimes he'd shake his head so hard, it would seem like he was trying to dislodge his head from his shoulders. You didn't understand why. Not until you watched the movie Coach Carter with him this past Fall.
You weren't doing anything that day, so you sat down next to him just to spend some time with him. When asked why he was watching Coach Carter, his response was "It's not that great. But it's okay" which is a lot more cryptic than usual. But you sat down anyway.
You watched a young Channing Tatum run up and down the high school gym and act as the token white guy. You watched Sam Jackson scream at other actors without a gun in his hand. Then you got involved in the movie, you got connected, that thing you have with sports movies turned on and that was it. You were hooked.
Then that scene came up, Coach asked Timo Cruz what his deepest fear was and you laughed, "Is this why you ask me that all the time?" and he smiled and nodded. You still didn't understand why but instead of watching the movie you started thinking about your actual fears. The things that shook your core, the cold in your bones you couldn't warm up.
You thought of your failed relationships, your lost friendships, the way you went from job to job like it was nothing, you wondered why people didn't want you to stick around for longer than a couple of months. For a second you believed that you were actual garbage. But you hid it, you're good at hiding it (you always were).
You eventually got up and left to smoke a cigarette or drink or whatever it was that you did to cope with your feelings of inadequacy.
A couple of days ago, your brother poured you a glass of brown liquor and told you to meet him outside on the deck. He asked you what your deepest fear was. You smirked and shook your head. He tapped on his phone and loaded up a clip from Coach Carter and told you to watch it.
In the clip, Timo Cruz -- the problem child of the group -- stood up and thanked the titular Coach by quoting Marianne Williamson:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."
You thought that this was cliche and, honestly, a little stupid. But after the clip had ended, he started talking to you about your life and the choices you've made thus far. How he can see the man you are growing into. How he -- and the rest of your family -- is proud of that man. They remember what it was like for you in the "abyss". They remember walking on eggshells every morning asking if you felt like moving today. And, now, they watch you get up on your own. Walk with your own two feet. They noticed these things before you ever could.
"Yeah, sure it's cliche", you thought to yourself as your brother speaks. "You've always been strong and intelligent [he raised his glass, you did the same], and I just want you to know, we're all proud of you. And we're all happy you can finally see it, too".
You held back tears. And drank.