Have you ever had a great idea, something that seemed like a good idea at the time, an idea where “trust me” was the bridge between thought and action?
I had one such moment when I was a kid, about age ten or eleven. I was pretty good when it came to passing, shooting, hitting, bouncing, or kicking any of the variety of balls each sport had to offer.
One of my talents was drop kicking a football. This is like kicking a football when someone props it upright on the ground, except nobody is holding it. You actually drop the ball point down and kick it the moment it touches the ground. If timed perfectly, a kid could drop kick the ball 20 yards or so and about 10 feet high. And I was good at it, which also meant I was confident I could kick it that way at will.
Enter my little sister, Nancy. For those who don’t know Nancy, simply picture any eager little sister about the age of six. (As an aside, Nancy was quite an athlete. She caught on quickly to all kinds of sports and as such was open to try new things. This usually worked out well for both of us.) Anyway, she and I would go outside and play all kinds of games together. Shoot hoops, hit and field grounders, toss the football . . . you get the idea.
And it was when we were tossing the football that I got my idea. I decided to teach her how to drop kick the football.
I began by showing her how I could kick the ball across the yard. After a few perfect kicks, it is safe to say she was impressed. One thing led to another and, bolstered by her admiration and emboldened by my confidence, I told her I could drop kick the ball over her head.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
However, being 10 years old and male didn’t afford me much foresight. And being a 6-year old little sister enamored by her big brother didn’t afford her much occasion for doubt. This was not a good combination. I lined Nancy up with the expected flight of the ball, stepped back, and made a perfect drop kick. Well, it would have been perfect, had her face not blocked it. (I would learn more about trajectory many years later in Physics.)
To Nancy’s credit, when I asked her to back up a bit and give it another go, she declined.
The moral? Perhaps it is, whether our ideas succeed or flop, life’s rich stories come from acting upon them.
*Photo from https://www.leapfrog.com/en-us/app-center/p/kick-the-football-charlie-brown/_/A-prod59941-96914