How is having a racquetball apprentice and blogging related? Let’s hope I can bring them together in 500 words or less!
About eighteen months ago I started coaching a young college student in racquetball. He had watched me play several times and one day after I finished playing he asked if I wouldn’t mind showing him a few things on the court as he wanted to get serious about the game. The last time I helped someone with racquetball was about 20 years ago and I remember it is one of the best feelings in the world to give of my knowledge and abilities. Last night while playing he showed me why I love racquetball and love passing on my passion. During a rally, he went to the floor with a dive to retrieve the ball. A couple rally’s later he went to floor twice in the same rally. After the game was over, he had to step outside for a minute because he said “I’m about to puke.” In that one moment I knew he stepped his game up a level. He showed me the fire in his eyes with the desire to win. And when you see that desire come to fruition in a blink of an eye, it is truly a gift to behold.
In what doesn’t seem so related, for years I’ve written in a journal and as technology provided starting writing this blog in 2002. I’ll admit that my blog is diverse. I love thinking and talking about all kinds of subjects. My blog has never had lots of viewers. Every now and then I get a comment and every now and then I get a day when 20-30 people stop by and read my latest babbling. But my blog makes me feel good because as time passes I find I get enjoyment out of going back in time and reading the thoughts I had and how I’ve grown as a person and a writer over the years.
Today, I was chatting online with a dear friend of mine and she said she liked my Soda Pop article. I was totally surprise she had been reading my blog in the first place. As we chatted about the blog she even mentioned that she likes it. In all the years of writing I don’t think anyone has flat out said they like my blog.
As I thought about working with my racquetball apprentice and writing my blog tonight, I realized that ENCOURAGEMENT from people we respect is key in keeping ourselves moving forward in our endeavors. We all want and desire acceptance and acknowledgement that what we are doing is good and worthy. I’ve never been one to lavish praise onto someone that isn’t worthy of the praise. But I realize as I grow older that encouraging people to keep reaching for their dreams is something that we all can do for each other.
It cost nothing to utter the few words of encouragement, yet the dividends reaped are incalculable. You just never know what the words “good job” and “great effort” today will do for someone tomorrow. When was the last time you encouraged someone?