...then work on building your rocket!
Last night I witnessed a remarkable display of hard work, determination, and courage by a bunch of seventh-grade football players.
Yes, both teams fought through the suffocating heat. Both teams made mistakes, both got a few lucky breaks. And it was razor-close: The decisive play came when the opposing team completed a long pass that would've put them in position to take the lead. Their talented receiver caught the ball then fumbled, and our team (okay, it was my kid. But as you'll see in a moment, it really was a team effort) covered the live ball.
Thirty seconds later it was over. Our side cheered. Their side graciously congratulated us, loaded their thirty or so kids onto the bus, and went home.
The same thing happens nearly every night in this part of the world. Our sons (and a few daughters) don helmets and pads and fight their guts out for ten yards of dried-up turf on an unlit field in the middle of nowhere. Win or lose, parents are always proud of their kids--and rightfully so. It's hard work.
But what made last night remarkable is this: Our team suited up twelve players.
Since we play eleven-man football, that means most of the players--including the undersized, intellectually gifted kid wearing the number ten jersey--played the entire game without a break. Offense, Defense, Special Teams.
Every snap, every down.
It was over a hundred degrees when the game started, ninety-seven when it finally ended a few minutes after sundown.
We have a few talented players--and some wonderful kids who excel at things other than football. But what I saw last night reminded me that hard work and determination CAN make a difference.
When my husband and I saw all those opposing players pile off the bus and jog to their sideline, we looked at each other and said, "This isn't going to be pretty."
At the end, I'm not ashamed to say I had tears in my eyes.
From now on, when someone tells me it's impossible for an unknown author to get published I'm going to smile and say, "I thought so, too. But my son taught me otherwise."
Cheers...and happy writing!