Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The "Whole-Hearted" Approach to Life

By L.A. Kohl
October 26, 2005
(published in the Nov. 2, 2005 edition of the "BullsEye")
Have you ever noticed that some people put their whole “self” into whatever they’re doing? Sports are where they often reveal themselves. Those little ones on the tee-ball league, who approach the tee with a look of determination, intense eyes barely visible under the brim of an oversized ball cap. They slug the ball, drop the bat in a flash and make a mad dash for first base. When and if they make it around to home, they usually make a flying dive for the base, even if the ball is nowhere near home.

We have a daughter who is one of those “whole-hearted” types of people. I’ll never forget one of her first tee-ball games. The coach put her in the shortstop position – but she was unsure of where that really was. He promptly went out and drew a line in the dirt with his foot, trying to show her the approximate location. She took it to heart. That entire inning, her little feet barely left that line. You could just see her intense concentration as she strove to keep her feet perched right on it. A ball would head her direction, and her immediate response would be to start after it, but then – oops – she remembered…her place was on that line. The coach straightened her out before the next inning (and probably got rid of the line!), but we enjoyed her absorption regarding a simple line in the dirt.

She’s now sixteen and long past tee-ball, but her whole-hearted approach hasn’t changed.

She just finished her second season of volleyball with a small Columbia team. She no longer concentrates on a specific place on the ground…now it’s “go for the ball," no matter what.
She wore knee pads, like all volleyball players do, but I thought she desperately needed elbow pads as well. She would hear nothing of the sort. You should have seen the girl’s elbows for those two months of the season! They were black and blue most of the time, because she continually dove after the ball if it came anywhere near her. It mattered not that she was hitting the floor two or three times more often than most of the other players. All that mattered was that she was going to try with all her might to keep that ball up in the air. We all enjoyed her “spunk," but her poor elbows took the brunt of those floor diving assaults.

She comes by this “whole-hearted” approach naturally – but not from me I’m afraid. I’m the type that would rather sit back and watch the other people who are putting their whole self into something. Her father, on the other hand, approaches life with an attitude of, “give it all you’ve got."

This week, however, he really outdid himself. He was watching video footage that he had taken while a friend was driving. It was while the two of them were down in Mississippi helping with the Katrina disaster relief. On their way home, as they drove through the heart of some of the worst destruction, he filmed a great deal of footage. Well, this week he had the opportunity to watch what he had filmed…some of it at high-speed as he fast-forwarded through the parts that got rather boring.

Guess what happened? He got extremely car sick! He had to take some pain medicine and go straight to bed. I’ve never seen him so car sick. I felt sorry for him, but I couldn’t help chuckling about the whole thing. He’s the only person I’ve ever known who watched a video so intensely that he got car sick without ever leaving home!

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