I fold my hands in front of my chest until the referee passes the ball to the shooter. As he dribbles and adjusts his toes along the free-throw line, I raise my arms. I have to extend them all the way or it doesn’t work. I wiggle my fingers, slowly, willing the crowd to be quiet. He aims for the basket and I hold my breath. Shoots. Swish. I scream and clap – about three times, I think – and then turn to Eileen for a double high five. If we get two shots, Eileen and I immediately resume our positions with arms raised overhead.
Sure, it sounds crazy, but it seems to be the only way to ensure that Steven Adams actually makes his free-throw shots.
And this is why I love going to sporting events with Eileen.
Sometimes I feel like it’s not cool to get excited. Twitter reminds me constantly about how lame everything is, from the Super Bowl to the Academy Awards. And while I didn’t get excited about this year’s game and I don’t usually remember to watch awards ceremonies, I lost my freaking mind the year the Packers won. And it was so much fun to care.
It’s fun to let yourself have fun. It’s nice to be silly and to pretend like your slow-motion jazz hands helps a college kid sink his shots. It is, I think, a good thing to let yourself get happily invested in things that you know aren’t that big of a deal.
There is nothing lame about cheers, applause, laughter, or high fives. These outbursts of joy are the very opposite of lame. They are proof that you can surrender to the moment, that you are not above enthusiasm.
I love seeing people get excited. It doesn’t matter if they’re geeking out over a TV show, a craft beer recipe, or an analog synthesizer; passion is a beautiful thing to witness. Passion, joy, enthusiasm, excitement – these are the ingredients for a happy day, and happy days make up a happy life.
If it comes down to a choice, I’d rather be happy than cool.
What do you let yourself get ridiculously excited about?