Recently I had the opportunity, if not obligation, to help coach my Son’s football team. The team started with five coaches and that number soon whittled down to one coach and a dad who had volunteered to help. I finally jumped in after watching these young men get humiliated in their first two scrimmages. In an effort to do my very best for my son, his remaining coaches and his teammates, I picked up a book titled Positive Coaching: Building Character and Self Esteem Through Sports, by Jim Thompson.

The season’s outcome is a story for another time. Suffice it to say it was character building… as to self-esteem… the jury’s still out on that one. I wanted to share, however the introduction to the first chapter in Mr. Thompson’s text, it’s actually a quote from Scott Russel Sanders, Secrets of the Universe: Essays on Family, Community, Spirit and Place. I offer it  here to all fathers who, like me, may be beginning to feel the press of age. Stay the course my brothers it’s worth the effort, not to mention early morning aches and pains!

I mean to keep playing games with my sons, so long as flesh will permit, as my father played games with me well past his own physical prime. Now that sports have begun to give me lessons in mortality, I realize they have also been giving me, all the while, lessons in immortality. These games, these contests, these conversations of body to body, father to son are not substitutes for some other way of being alive. They are the sweet and sweaty thing of life itself. 

I hope you find this as inspiring as I do. Every time one of my three boys still at home want to wrestle, run or otherwise throw themselves against their father in their never-ending quest for manhood, I remember this great quote and bury myself in the fray… oh and of course theirs always ibuprofen! Have a great day, Happy New Year and GO PLAY!

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