Run With the Ball–The Tale of Paul!

For some inexplicable reason this beautiful teenage memory came roaring back to me last night, while I was doing my daily running routine.

When I was in my early teen years, I played soccer for the local “little league” soccer team.  It was not my favorite thing to do, but I was a good enough runner and dribbler to get some good play time on the field.  Mostly my Dad wanted me to play and it was cool to have him be on the sidelines being all proud and stuff.  Well, there was this one game where my friend Paul (a friend most of the time–you remember teen relationship drama) had a moment that would change my view of what was possible for the rest of my life–sounds a big dramatic, but true.  Paul played full back, which is primarily a defensive position, yet in this game it all changed.  The other team had just scored a very easy goal and Paul was distrought that they had gotten the ball past him.  Well, this was not OK with him!  As soon as play began again, Paul was on it.  He ran (and boy could he run) directly towards that ball.  He did not care about who he had to run past to get it.  Forget about being a team player–forget about being nice and sharing–forget that he was a full back–he was now acting like he was an offensive center.  He got that ball and dribbled it down that field at a pace that the road runner would have been impressed by.  We just all watched and were just spell bound.  I had never seen anything like it on the soccer field, nor had the coach, who was screaming on the side lines to pass the ball to a front linesman to carry the ball down the field.  Paul was not hearing any such talk!

And of course, he scored, right!?!?!?!?!  Their goalie was in shock as it all happened so fast–about 20 seconds to be exact.  I do not remember if we won that game, but that is not the point.  What matters is…–well you know what matters here–the way he showed up that day was not the way your “supposed to play.”  When you are compelled you will do magical almost impossible things.  Now that is Bigger Game philosophy at its core!

Interesting–as I am writing this story I realize perhaps why this memory has come back to me today.  It is so time for me to advance my Bigger Game and go for it.  For the past year or so, I have been in a place of doing good work in my world and feeling very content and blessed by how it is all going–and yet not feeling that compelling pull to “run like hell” down that field.  Maybe it was simply not time, but, something certainly has shifted.  There is no judgement here of myself, but rather a beautiful sense of curiosity of myself.  As I am just returning from over 3 weeks of global (Korea) Bigger Game and leadership training, there is a renewed sense of going towards that ball and not worrying about “what position” I am playing–just “run with the ball” already.  Maybe I will score, maybe not, but the more important thing to do right now is run with the ball.  MMMMMM– a new thought just came in!  What is interesting is that is exactly what I am literally doing almost every day.  I am training for a 15k run in July and I am in serious training for this.  So maybe the physical act of my running everyday has activated the Bigger Game player in me to go for it–whatever that might look like.  It is like my outer experience of running has woken up my inner player.  Sometimes motivation works that way–from the “outside in” rather then from the “inside out,” which is how most of us think it works.  We are waiting to be motivated from some inner place.  Well, I dare say let yourself be motivated from doing something big “from outside” of yourself. Go take a bold action in your life and see what creativity and insights it opens up.  What I know is that there is an inner “Paul the soccer player” in all of us, who is capable of running that ball down that field without a doubt in mind of scoring or at least at giving that ball a good shot towards that goal–(although I am not a big fan of goals–but I digress–that is another blog topic someday.)  The most important part of this story is to remember to get out there on the field, no matter what position, because there is no chance of scoring from the sidelines.

Thank you Paul, for running like you did that day–I am changed because of it. Happy running to you all.

1 Comment

  • Andrea Willets Reply

    LOVED reading this entry Rick. I sense you are on the brink of MORE… and your energy around possibility is contagious. I believe our bodies are a big part of waking up and triggering more creativity in our lives. I can’t wait to see what the “running like hell…” is in your Bigger Game.


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