Tuesday, July 16, 2013

In Honor of Tweets, Mrs. Ridley & All Coaches

According to FT writer Gillian Tett, this is
a team of future CEO's!
I've learned a lot since I started Tweeting. It's a reporter's digital form of breaking news. And the folks you follow really do lead you to some interesting stuff. Like this story on the lack of women sources in the New York Times front page stories. (Good work by two women journalism students!)

Or like this article I read first from a Tweet, then on the web site itself, and then as I re-read it when I posted it on Facebook. Columnist Gillian Tett writes in the Financial Times about the link between successful women and the sports they played as girls or in college. Oh Yeah!

Maybe because I'm co-authoring a novel right now that's celebrating women's friendships and successes with an athletic backdrop (think "The Help" meets "A League of Their Own") but Tett's story got me thinking—about the impact of sports on my own life. So I offer this short (but long for a blog) essay from my most recent memoir/book, "Woman Overboard: How Passion Saved My Life." Now go thank those coaches!

"Compassion's Call and the Hands I want to Hold" An Excerpt from Chapter 7 of Woman Overboard

Saints with day jobs have taught me over and over. Even when I didn’t know it at the time.

Every June, July and August of my high school years, I was a proud member of the Callahan Real Estate girl’s softball team of Wheat Ridge, Colorado. I’d been playing little league on other teams since I was in second grade and loved everything about it: the sun on my face, the snacks after games, the laughs with my friends. There was nothing like standing around a park in the summer, tossing a ball back and forth or watching a batter connect to a pitch every now and then, until the game was over and you sat around the bleachers drinking Pepsi or Mountain Dew, watching the next game. It was my kind of sport.
By teenage years, however, the watching had turned to serious competition and most of my friends turned to other fun. I decided to keep playing. Our high school didn’t yet offer sports like softball or soccer for girls (it was the early 1970s, after all,when Title IX was just born), so suburban recreational centers filled the gap during the summer months. They offered all kinds of leagues for all levels of play.

That’s when I told my parents I wanted to play for Callahan Real Estate. But by joining this particular team, they reminded me, it wouldn’t be easy. The players were all older, mostly juniors and seniors, and I was only a sophomore. They’d been playing together for a few years. I was coming in from another team. And while they already knew all their positions, I had merely stood wherever the coach put me. I hadn’t focused long enough to excel at any one spot.

I was ready to try. So they took a chance and sent me to the recreation center to register . . .

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Bicycles, Birds, and Beliefs

I'm not sure there's anything sadder than a bike stuck in snow, days long gone, with no birds to watch or roads to explore. So I reckon that's where believing can certainly help to get you through such a big disappointment, or even tougher, more real issues.

In fact, here's my latest story in the July issue of New England Psychologist, "Study: Belief in God Aids Treatment."

From there, it might be fun to hop on some wheels and put some belief into action where ever you are. Can't remember having so much fun interviewing folks as I did for this story in the July issue of North Shore Magazine: Wings and Wheels. 

Happy Trails!