Kareem on Music Lessons

Esquire.com recently featured a wonderful article by basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabaar:  20 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Was 30.

Among the 20 tidbits of wisdom is this: Play the piano.

I took lessons as a kid but, like a lot of kids, didn’t stick with them. Maybe I felt too much pressure. After all, my father had gone to the Julliard School of Music and regularly jammed with some great jazz musicians. Looking back, I think playing piano would have given me a closer connection with my dad as well as given me another artistic outlet to better express myself.

PianoHow many people do you know who have the same regret?

Maybe you’re one of them?

I run into it all the time. People who, upon finding out I’m a musician, tell me that they “used to” take lessons on some instrument or another. Most of the time, they’ll go on to tell me that they wish they had kept up with it.

Of course, there’s nothing stopping anyone from picking it back up, at any age. Kareem was in his mid-fifties when he figured that out:

In 2002, I finally started to play and got pretty good at it. Not good enough that at parties people would chant for me to play “Piano Man,” but good enough that I could read music and feel closer to my dad.

And that, folks, is how a champion handles regret:  By doing something about it.