Archives for May 2008

Softball Inspiration

The following story is published with permission of Dick Warn.

With two runners on base, Sara Tucholsky (playing for Western Oregon University) hit her first home run ever. However, she passed first base without even touching it. When she realized her error she stopped, turned, and her knee gave out. Painfully she crawled back to first base.

If any coach, trainer or fellow team member were to touch her while she lay there she would be called out. When the umpire arrived, he said a pinch runner could be called in, but her homer would count as only a single, with two runs batted in.

Hearing what the umpire said, Central Washington’s first baseman asked, “Would it be okay if we (as she pointed to a team member) carried her and she touched each of the bags?”

Nothing in the rule book said that opposing players couldn’t. So, two of Central Washington’s players lifted Sara and carried her to second, third and home, allowing her to touch each base.

As they reached home plate, the odd looking trio was laughing, everyone in the stands was on their feet clapping, and the entire Western Oregon team was in tears.

Sara’s home run helped end Central Washington’s trip to their conference finals and their season was over.

Thinking back on what they had done, Liz Wallace, Central’s shortstop, said, “We didn’t know that she was a senior or that this was her first home run.”

And, Mallory Holtman, record-setting first baseman in her final year with Central’s team, said, “In the end, it is not about winning or losing. It is about this girl. She hit it over the fence and she was lying there in extreme pain. She deserved that home run.”

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William Shatner on aging

A couple weeks back, I wrote about aging gracefully.  Today I was reading an interview with William Shatner, and some of what he says resonates, so I thought I would share these three Q&As from the interview.

Q: Do you ever see yourself retiring?

A: Yes, as I slowly draw my last breath–not the shallow ones, where you’re panting and unconscious, but the deep one, where you say, “My God, I’m dying”–I’ll retire.

Q:It was your 77th birthday a few weeks ago.  How did you celebrate?

A: I took one jump in the air and realized I could still do it.

Q: What’s the best thing about getting older?

A: Marveling that the passion’s still there.  And the worst is discovering that on occasion, it’s not.

So keep that passion burning, and you need never grow old…at least not until it’s time to retire.  Then, you can start life all over again and follow a new passion if that’s what you would like.  Just like Shatner, you can explore new frontiers where no-one has gone before.

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Aging Gracefully

Watching my parents age, especially my father, is very instructive. OK, that’s the mild term for it. Nobody can watch their parents age without undergoing a whirlwind of emotions.

Just as we see so much of ourselves in our children, even our own hope for the future and carrying on our own legacy, so, too, we see so much of ourselves in our parents and we see them paving a path that bears our name on it, as well.

What I am mostly seeing now is my father unable to climb stairs or lift his foot high enough to get into the bathtub. Yes, simple things. Everyday movements. Things we take for granted without even giving it a second thought.I have never been afraid of dying (although I find it pretty surrealistic trying to imagine a world without me – not being interpreted through my own perspective), but I confess to being afraid of going old. I have always said that I don’t want to slowly waste away – just drop a piano on my head. I don’t even want to see it coming.

Of course, watching my parents lose their mobility stirs certain emotions in me.

But one surprising emotion that has appeared is gratitude. Yes. My father is showing me how blessed I am (and hopefully will remain for another half a century) to be able to walk without even thinking about it. To run. To jump. To chase my kids through the forest. To dig in the garden. To do my morning push-ups. Yes! Whatever you take for granted – that’s what deserves appreciating and cheering for the most.

And he is motivating me like nothing ever has before to keep fit. To not let fatigue or overscheduling keep me from at least carrying on some strength and flexibility exercises. This, too, is a very good thing.

NOTE: A previous article on self-esteem and aging gracefully that I wrote…um…how long ago? Gee, I’m racing toward my aging years a lightening speed!

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Happiness, anger and self-control

While the Daily Dose of Happiness is on a temporary hold (testing of the new system is going well, so it should not have to wait much longer) I thought I would share this letter with you:

Hello Happy Guy;

I have been receiving your daily doses for some time now and every once in a while you get that ONE that just sticks to you like peanut butter.  I am having a tough time at my current job and had a situation yesterday with an Executive Level Employee.  My first instinct to his condescending comment to me was to lash out and get angry; but just as fast as my instinctual reaction, came the recall of this dose….  Needless to say, I did not allow this person to be my master!  I just smiled and killed him with a very polite comment and he was completely thrown off and I walked away with my head held high.

It’s definitely a learning process, but without this dose, I would probably still be obsessing over it.

Thank you!  🙂

I say Bravo.  Life is about choosing how you want to live, how you want to act, how you want to react.  Don’t let someone else push your buttons.  They are your buttons; you push them!


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Count your two-dollar blessings

Look at how many people live on less than $2 per day!  This is incredible.  Imagine living on what would buy you no more than a handful of rice and beans and perhaps a glass of milk.  No clothes.  No shelter.  No vehicle.  Not even Internet access.

OK, that’s not completely true.  Many of these people have makeshift houses they build themselves.  And many of them have access to in-season fruits and vegetables.  And most do have some meager clothing.  But none of them will be reading this — even those who can read — because Internet is not something even within their world.

Do I mention this to make you sad?  No, quite the contrary.  You should feel lucky, blessed, fortunate and generous as a result of the blessings you have.  Enough of the “if only I had…” or “if only I could…” or “I just have to get one of those…”  We are all living in the lap of luxury, even most of those who are labeled “poor” have more than the majority of people living today, and an even greater majority of people living throughout history.

It is so important to count our blessings and so easy to fail to do so.  We usually look only as far as the greener grass on the other side of the fence.  But if we could look inside the accompanying homes, the grass might not seem as green (not that there would be grass inside the homes, but that we would discover a lot of things we would rather not have for ourselves).

But if we look over enough fences, beyond our close neighborhood, we would eventually see the hoards of people scraping by on $2 per day.  Where the grass is not greener because the is no grass.  Can you see that far?  Are you even looking?

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Let’s communicate!

In her latest newsletter, Lynda Goldman tells of a trip to LA where she got on a bus expecting a tour of the city…until she started seeing signs for the airport.

“He apologized, and said he always told people that we were on a collector bus to meet our tour. Because he did this every day, he assumed he had told us what we needed to know.  What a bad start to the tour. Instead of being happy passengers, we were all filled with anxiety, not knowing where we were going. ”

I know I am often guilty of this.  Guilty.  Guilty.  Guilty.  It is so important not to assume that other people know what we are thinking.  Why take the chance of creating stress, having to redo things or simply making people feel bad.

Let’s communicate.  Let’s make sure we tell everything there is to tell.  Let’s ask if there are any questions.  Let’s make sure that the messages we think we are sending are in fact the same messages that the listeners are receiving.

After all, it is better to tell someone something two times than forget to tell them even once.

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