Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Shoot for the Moon...

...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.

Twelve.

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!

-T

8 comments:

  1. This puts into words what I have been feeling all day.

    Well done

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    1. So happy you feel that way! Thanks!

      -T

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  2. Good job for the kids, and great inspiration.

    You can't ever let anyone else decide what you can or can't do. Keep faith in yourself and keep moving forward no matter what.

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    1. Well said, Marilyn. I appreciate your willingness to share your experience. Every anecdote teaches me something about our profession.

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  3. Kids are just awesome! They totally amaze me sometimes on how they can be so strong and bounce back. This is such a great story, thank you for sharing.

    I know all about pushing through and doing it anyway. It's amazing what you can do when you don't have a choice. It makes us stronger everytime.

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    1. Ashlynn, you--perhaps better than anyone else--know about pushing through tough times. Watching you gives me courage!

      -T

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  4. I loved this story...I too had tears in my eyes just picturing those brave-hearted boys.
    Hugs.
    Jackie

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    1. Thanks, Jackie! Your warm-hearted thoughts always make me smile!

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Glad you're here!