Get out and get big

March 10, 2011

Buck was the soccer coach for my twins when they were not much more than 6 or 7 years old. He was tall, slender, athletic and handsome. In his professional life he may have been an intellectual teaching or writing plays or something, I can’t recall. All I remember is his name, Buck. And I do remember one other thing about Buck, “Get out and get big”. My timid and somewhat petite goalkeeper, Allison used to hide in the net. I’d swear I hear her praying that the ball not come her way. She’d rather not be challenged, or hurt, or embarrassed, or let her team down if she failed. “Get out and get big, Allie”, Buck would say gently but firmly and reassuring. She saved many a goal that timid season and has since grown into a confident athlete.

I am in the middle of my own timid season. I have not been writing much, hiding back in the net. I confess I don’t want to play this game anymore. Put me out coach. There are many days when it just feels too hard, like too much effort for so little return, and then I have to go do the whole thing over again. Explain things to the kids that make them cry, cry myself, schedule test, wait on results, worry, take pills to keep me from the worry, drink wine when I worry. The season never ends.

When you have a family, a career, friends who love you, kids you still need to raise, grandchildren you plan to someday hold in your arms, cancer is a team sport. Like it our not on this team, I get to be the goalie. It’s time to “Get out and get big.” I am going to drink me some cancer kicking Gatorade and get my butt back out there, bloodied and bruised, sweat and tears, I am getting back on the field. My team needs me. I need me.

Get out and get big. Thanks Buck. You’ve saved more than just a 6 year old’s confidence, you may have saved her mom.

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One Response to “Get out and get big”

  1. Betsy Happel Says:

    Sometimes what seems like hiding in the net is, more profoundly, surveying the game field. Apparently, you’re now more prepared to play. Who knows how or why? No matter, your cheering section is deep and wide. 🙂


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