“You’ll have to renew that soon.”
The TSA agent whose job it is to make sure ID’s are legitimate, reminded me that my birthday is coming and with that the expiration of the Texas driver’s license which I have had for the last decade or more.
I looked at the picture on my license. It was taken during a time when I decided to let my hair grow. I also decided to stop combing it because I liked the idea of being able to not comb it if I didn’t want to.
Growing up, I always wanted an afro. A big martial arts Jim Kelly afro. My dad karate chopped that idea every time my hair got more than an inch or so high. After years of barber shop visits every couple weeks, cutting my hair became a habit and I forgot about my afro dreams.
As these dreams resurfaced, it occurred to me that I could let my hair grow if I wanted to. My Dad, my job, the opinion of others, my vanity - none of that was a barrier. I was free to do what I wanted with my hair.
This new found follicle freedom was quite an epiphany. At the time, I had left the financial comfort of being an NBA mascot, I was in transition spiritually and I was forging ahead with my own entertainment business already in debt wondering if I was traveling the right path.
Even when I had a “job” with a “boss”, I looked at my “job” as my business and my “boss” as one of my clients. I didn’t always look at work this way but once I found the “job” that allowed me to do what I was put on this planet to do, there was no other way to look at it. How could a “boss” dictate my role and the parameters of my success when my calling transcended his/her power to restrict or elevate me.
Here I was figuring out on the “job” how to do the “job” with clients as my “bosses” and me giving them what they asked for. It hit me that not only could I do what I wanted with my hair but I was free to run my business any way I wanted with a few exceptions.
Truly recognizing this, I would remind my teammates, “We can do whatever we want! We are the experts!”
As a performer, I always knew this freedom. I jumped off roofs and flipped over fences as a kid, I started my floor exercise routine in the middle of the floor exercise mat as a college gymnast, I swung from the rafters like Tarzan and flipped off backboards as an NBA mascot - FREE!
I had no idea when i decided to stop combing my hair that, as it grew, strands would link with other strands and form “locks” whose strength was mightier than any one strand of hair could ever be.
I gave my hair permission to be free and it grew stronger.
I gave my self permission to be free and encouraged my teammates to do likewise and the “locks” that resulted are mightier than any one of us could have created.
Life is much more complex than a head of hair and even choices in freedom have their consequences like all choices. Being free still has responsibility. I call it FREEsponsibility.
FREEsponsibility means at some point, just like my hair, maintenance and guidance is required.
Purpose guides this maintenance.
In humanity’s head of hair, I recognize that as 1 strand of earth's humanity, I can freely link with other strands to create the dopest “locks” and I’m grateful for those who have joined me on this journey.
ACRODUNK, XDB, Dunk Lab, Dunk Ninja, The Sport Of Thinking, 1OAKLife, USA Dunk, The United States FreesTYle Dunk Federation, Uncle Slam and the soon to be announced DUNKour are just a few of those “locks” and they are getting stronger.
If you dunk off a trampoline, join me and others in this freesTYle dunk movement as we freely impact the world like ONLY we can.
Our purpose: To Create Dunk Superstars!
Enlist at USFDF.org