USA Soccer: way to use your head!

Talk about using your head! I watched the Women’s World Soccer (football to the rest of the world) Championship today. What other game can you say that you scored a goal by ricocheting a ball off of your head?

Soccer is something else. It requires a human with legs and lungs of steel who can:

1. Race back and forth like a squirrel chasing the last walnut of winter

2. Peer long distances out of the corner of their eyes

3. Have a backup job as a clairvoyant  (who can predict where that ball is going?)

4. Willingly sacrifice one’s entire body as a human racquet

And for what? All to get that ball into the net. That is focus.

The pressure of a world championship can take a lot out of a person. Wow. I don’t know about you, but I was personally completely wiped out after screaming and jumping out of my chair several times. I can’t even imagine how tired the players were feeling.

The game made me wonder what it is like to give yourself so totally to something. You know, other than God. Or your children. Or pie. That I get.

Maybe it’s the fans. I remember reading that Bono said he just didn’t feel normal without ten thousand people screaming for him. Or maybe it’s the drive to be the best at something. We all have that desire.

I don’t know. But I do wonder what the world would be if all of us would go at something with such focus and determination that we became, even for a moment, the best in the world. Most of us don’t expect that of ourselves. Plus, what if we failed?

My mom used to tell me that success mattered much less than doing my best.  But what is my best? I can safely say that I don’t do my best in most areas of my life. I have tried hard to be an under achiever. (That was a joke, if you didn’t catch it.)

The thing I have found is that perfectionism is a killer to the human spirit. And it can make you a bit hard to live with. But we all need a little bit of it.

I wonder if I took one thing in my life and really – as fully as I could – devoted myself to it, what might my life be like? And if you did that too, what might the world be like?

We lost the game. Despite some fabulous plays, our women’s steel lungs, skill and determination, we lost. Funny, I don’t feel like we are losers. Maybe it’s the spin I put on it in my brain, but so be it. I am proud of our team. We really used our heads.

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