Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pep Talk: "Embrace Shakespeare's Advice"

It’s early Sunday afternoon, Rockies going for sweep of Diamondbacks on the tube, cat in the face - her breath does stink - and writing you on my mind. I’d like to chat about chasing dreams.

The previous 24 hours of a fifty-fourth birthday weekend a perfect example of this exciting, frightening and unpredictable journey we call life and the importance of chasing dreams. It resonated within me deeply while dropping talented niece at airport. That moment culminated a visit centered on a, considered, move to the Mile High City once graduated next month from nursing school.

The standout basketball player had injuries curtail a promising collegiate career and turned attention to caring for others via nursing. I like to call that “turning lemons into - heck with lemonade - sweet savory margaritas.” Basketball and then nursing, two healthy and productive, potentially, endeavors. Quick to smile and laugh, this young lady has many gifts and seems to relish, like many of us, the Colorado lifestyle and its magic. Young adults dig Denver. I think that’s cool.

While watching her walk into the terminal, thoughts wandered back to watching #20 play basketball. A guard, my niece played with great passion. I have always admired others who pour heart and soul - call it passion - into their efforts. Whether home, work, sports or elsewhere, it really warms my marrow to watch others ooze enthusiasm in ways honoring, nurturing and adding value to communities served, wherever roaming. Just my opinion, but the energy emanating from folks like that is infectious and inspires me to better effort. You?

Anyway, back to the point. An uncle is observing a fabulous young lady, product of sister and good buddy from high-school basketball days, marinating in one of life’s defining moments: courage to put fear aside and allow wonderment to win.

It’s a favorite story shared during practically each live Pep Talk presentation. Long ago, when precious daughter, today a volleyball standout, was in second-grade she played some hoops. I’ll never forgot driving the now 15-year-old and two classmates to their first basketball practice. The three were in the back of my car, buckled in and discussing what most second-grade girls seem to talk about: fashion, boys and television shows. We’re about five minutes from practice when one of the girls blurts out, “Hey, when is our first game?” Remember, I’m driving them to their first practice. My daughter and the other girl respond, almost in unison, “First game? Oh, it’s tomorrow.”

The inquiring young lady’s face flooded with shock and fear. This came from mouth but originated in soul: “Tomorrow? I don’t even know how to play basketball!” Daughter and other gal fire back with this gem: “Oh, that’s okay. Here’s what we do. When we have the ball we put it in the basket. When they have it, we steal it. The coaches will teach us the rest.”

Next time we interview a basketball coach on Mac and Doog we’ll have to offer that advice: score, play good defense and learn. I can’t wait for that response!

Anyway, the body language of an inquiring young girl changed immediately as she confidently muttered, “Oh, okay!” Here’s where it gets really good. From the moment, five minutes later upon arrival, that terrific trio of young ladyhood marched into the gym each became good players. None better than a once frightened young girl, given wise instruction from teammates, putting fear aside and allowing wonderment to win.

It worked for a young girl many years ago. I wonder if she even remembers the moment like I do? Probably not and that’s okay. Putting fear aside and allowing wonderment to win will work for a darling niece considering moving west to the Centennial State. It will work for your humble correspondent. It will work for you too.

Where this week is it time? Time to put fear aside and allow wonderment to win? Home, work or elsewhere? Where is it time to take a leap of faith into the great unknown? Wherever that question rattles your bones, please remember, it ain’t happening unless wonderment wins the battle with fear.

If you think I’m crazy, perhaps Shakespeare’s take on it might resonate. Wikipedia calls the English poet and writer “the world’s pre-eminent dramatist.” Writing most of his work in a 24-year spurt beginning in the late 1500‘s, the dude considered the greatest writer in English language history, once declared: “Our doubts are traitors that make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”

He’s right. Let’s promise one another the following: embrace Shakespeare’s advice. We must keep chasing dreams. It starts with wonderment defeating fear.

Good luck this week!


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