Passion. Passion. And more PASSION! Oh my lands!! I have witnessed lots of it recently…..on the football field…..hot, sweaty bodies…..heavy breathing……intertwined limbs……LOTS and LOTS of passion……and it is awesome. Absolutely AWESOME!
“I love football,” Miles tells me repeatedly, passion evident in the tone of his voice, in the carriage of his body, and in the fire in his eyes. “I just love it.” He does love it. Passionately.
Passion, Google tells me, is “when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind body and soul into something as is possible.” Miles is passionate about football and it is fun, SO, SO FUN, to watch him.
He began the season as a starting cornerback. In his first game he made some great plays, including two unassisted tackles. Another time he tried to tackle a guy, got juked, but did not stop. The guy juked another of Miles’ teammates and, in so doing, put himself back in Miles’ range. This time Miles brought him down. Later in the game Miles covered the intended receiver so tightly that the quarterback couldn’t pass to him, which contributed to a quarterback sack for Miles’ team.
Kellie Hale, last year’s football “Mom” told me that this year’s coach [Jason] asked her husband who he should pick for his team. [In Roy City, city league football teams are created by a draft.] Her husband recommended Miles saying, “I know he is small but he has a tremendous work ethic; he runs everywhere and simply never gives up.” “That’s what I want on my team,” Jason responded, and selected Miles.
Miles in on the Roy PeeWee Gold 2015 football team and, in a very real sense, so am I. The parents group associated with this team in incredible. I have felt like an outsider on every team (city, recreation, junior high, charter school, high school) of every sport (soccer, cross country, basketball, wrestling, football, track) that every one of my children (Chick, Tanah, Grace, Miles) has ever participated in—which actually says a lot more about me than it does about the parents associated with the various sports—but it does not change the fact that I have always felt like a fringe figure.
The group of parents associated with the Roy PeeWee Gold 2015 football team has pulled me in and I am so appreciative. Sheila, the official “Team Mom” and Jason’s wife, makes a point of greeting me at practices and games. Kellie, as she was last year, is wonderful. People whose names I don’t know invite me to sit by them and tell me Miles is great; “Your son is a monster,” one dad told me after yesterday’s game. We joke together about the refs, share comments about the weather, and chat about topics totally unrelated to football. The team has a Facebook page where people post encouraging notes and exciting news. Though I look much more like the soccer, charter school and cross country parents than I do many of these football parents (I don’t have any piercings or tattoos…) I am much, much more comfortable with my football “family”. I cannot express how nice it is to be included. Really. I’m 50 (and a half) years old—you’d think I’d be beyond that—but I’m not. Being included has affected me greatly and I’m so appreciative.
Miles is more than appreciative of his football experience; he is passionate. He lost his starting position last game but he has not lost his passion. He still runs his heart out on every play, every time he goes on or off the field, and in every drill. Every day when I ask him about school he tells me how many pics (interceptions) he made, how many sacs he got, how many TD passes he threw, and how many fumbles he caused during recess. He describes how he jukes X men and takes down running backs. His is a “heart, mind, body, and soul” investment: passion.
C.S. Lewis said, and I agree, that there is not enough passion in the world. “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses
Passion. DO IT!!!!!!!
P.S. Tanah and I decided we wanted to invite a new-to-our-congregation family to dinner to get to know them. Miles agreed with the plan saying “Yea, that way I can see if their daughter is cute.” Hum…..some kinds of passion need to wait!!!