sacrificing fun for honor

THEY DON'T LOOK LIKE TOUGH LACROSSE PLAYERS! left to right, Carson, Brittany, Alexis, and Lily on a short spring break.

As we arrived at our gate at the airport we were pleasantly surprised to see Alexis, Carson, and Brittany there waiting to board the same airplane as us. Alexis commented that the coincidence should be worthy of my blog… How could I argue with that?

Like our little one, they are on spring break. The difference for them and the friends they’re going to meet is this will be their last spring break as kids still at home. Next year they’ll be at college, most will be at different colleges, some in different states.

I know these girls pretty well, I coached them for years. Which means for almost 6 months of every year I saw them almost every day of the week, year after year. To look at these girls and all the other girls I coached, I realize no one would probably ever be able to tell how dedicated they are.

A person might never be able to guess how much sweat and blood spill from their bodies over the years. Although all of them are good students and most of them excellent students, they’ve already learned what some people don’t learn their entire life.

Yes, they live and understand hard work, they also grasp the perseverance that has to accompany it. More importantly they savvy the sacrifice it takes to succeed in life.

While most kids their age are taking a full week off from school and all things associated with it, they’re just taking a long weekend. They will cut their vacation short and head back to Arizona to play Lacrosse.

They are continuing a tradition I began seven years ago. This trip for me is the first one I’ve taken without cutting it short like my lacrosse girls in those seven years. The program I was honored to be part of and contribute to has been and continues to be pretty successful, not just because we won more times than we lost, but because we all sacrificed in order to be able to say we did all we could do to succeed… “No Regrets”!

It is my opinion that there is no success in life without sacrifice. If someone considers sitting in front of a TV as the pinnacle of they’re life a success, I think they’re lying to themselves.

The question of sacrifice becomes who or what are we sacrificing for? It’s a delicate line between selflessness and selfishness and most of us dance back and forth over the line. When the sacrifice becomes an obsession it picks up too much steam and crashes through the barrier and falls into the valley of “too much of a good thing.”

That is my tendency… I’ve crawled out of that valley, up it’s slippery sides more times than I can recount. After all the trips back out I’ve sort of left myself a trail. It’s easier for me to recognize now when my sacrifice is ill-motivated or done with proper intention just taken too far.

Sometimes in life moderation feels like average. In truth, I think it does take passion, perseverance, and sacrifice pushed past center in order to succeed. It’s not easy to push, work, and sacrifice, if it were easy a lot more people would be doing it.

I hope as those girls push forward and sacrifice they take the time to consider their sacrifices and their motivations behind them. I especially hope they consider daily the ultimate sacrifice of Christ that allows confidence, power, and freedom over their flesh.

When I see my lacrosse girls my heart is always lifted, the pride rises in my soul. I’m proud of all of their hard work and sacrifice. I respect them for their choice to be the small minority of people who will push and sacrifice in order to find success that can only be defined by their attitude and action.

The next day I watched the U of A Wildcats take on the number 1 ranked USC Trojans. Three of my Lacrosse girls I coached did the brunt of the damage. Sacrificing fun for honor, they led the Trojans until about 8 minutes left in the game. The Wildcats ended up losing by 3 goals. I apologize to my girls who are now on their way back to Tucson, I can’t post the picture my wife took of them after the game. Mel, Kelse, and to my daughter Ali, I couldn’t be more proud. Those girls defined success today…  What an honor to watch…

I know they will carry what they’ve learned with them and pass it on to others and maybe even their children someday.

Where ever those girls go, whatever they do, they will take a piece of my heart with them… And they will wear it well…