Where I teach high school, my grandson attended basketball camp the last three mornings.  While I watched and read, I heard the coach give them a little lecture.  Apparently, some of the campers were dragging along, not even jogging as they moved across the court.  They kept pulling on their shorts, looking down, not listening or paying any attention to the instructions.  Coach got fed up, stopped everything, and pointed out their self defeating behaviors.

Basically, he told them that their actions appeared defeatist.  Act tired, lag behind, ignore instructions, and you set yourself up to lose. Your actions become who you are.  It seems these are also good pointers for all aspects of life.  Ability alone will not lead to accomplishment or even happiness.  Even the most talented musician, athlete, writer attains little without practice and determination.  Being the best a person can be takes work and a positive outlook.

Barbie Doll

Barbara Lewis Duke, pretty, petite, blue-eyed and blond, my mother, one

fearless, controlling woman.  Long after Mom’s death, Dad said, “Barbara was

afraid of absolutely no one and nothing!”  They married late:  34 & 38.  He

adored her unconditionally.  She filled my life with horses, music, love,

cornfields, hay rides, books, and ambition.  Whatever she felt she had missed,

my sister and I were going to possess:  books, piano lessons, a college

education.  Her father, who died long before I was born, loved, fancy,

fast horses.  So did she.  During my preschool, croupy years she quieted my

hysterical night coughing with stories of run away horses pulling her in a

wagon.  With less than one hundred pounds and lots of determination, she

stopped them, a tiny Barbie Doll flying across the Missouri River Bottom,

strong, willful, and free.