Children at Play

Have you ever sat at a playground and watched children play? For many of us this is how we fill our days in some seasons of our lives.

The kids climb, slide, and run as happy as can be. Nothing is wrong in their world. As each new child arrives they are welcomed into whatever game is being had. No questions, just a natural easy flow. I marvel at how quick children can make friends as well. They have a common purpose, to PLAY! Nothing will hinder their goal. I have also noticed that most of the time my own kids will not even find out the names of the other kids they played with. They just knew it was ok to play and have fun together.

As adults we grow leary of people and lose this simple mindset. I am challenged daily to remember how children engage in the world and are open to others coming into their life. Some will come in for a long time and others just a 30 minute play date at a playground. As we navigate our daily lives may we be challenged to embrace all the different people that come into our life.

My 8 year old daughter made a friend at her new school this year. I scheduled a skate date so they could play together. When we got home I asked if she enjoyed playing with Ciara (name changed to keep privacy). Her response was quick and thoughtful all at the same time. She said, “yes I did, but if we lived during Martin Luther King’s day we would not of been able to play together Mom.” She was referring to the fact that Ciara is African-American and she is white. I’m sure her teacher at school was teaching about Martin Luther King Jr. recently. However, hearing her make the point she made was a profound statement about how she felt. I hope I never forget her words. She loves her friends and realized that because she lives today she can be friends with all people. The way they look on the outside doesn’t have to determine if she is allowed to play with them or not. She added, “I’m glad I live now.”

We seem to take for granted what we do have these days. We can choose who we spend time with. We can see people for far beyond the outside appearance. I choose to be a welcomer and bridge for people to experience unity.

Martin Luther King Jr said, “that one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” It was his dream that has come true today. I hope that we as a people will remember his words and diligently stick together as one human race.

Next time you find yourself in the vicinity of children take a moment to watch how they play. We can all take a breath and realize that just as hard as life can be the joy that exudes from children at play is unmistakable. Finding the good in every person you meet is a positive way to live. Remembering that we all have our struggles and need to given grace. If we can see past the outer appearance and peer into the heart and soul of a person I guarantee you will see pieces of yourself. We all need each other.

Keep Moving!

Becky

Age & Wisdom

We are celebrating our birthdays this month!  We both turned 41.  

Tune in today as we discuss the life stage we each are in right now.  Becky has pre-teens and Patricia has teenagers.  

We also delve into how we are feeling physically, emotionally and spiritually.  

Lastly, we talk about what have learned in our 40’s so far.

In the Highlight Reel, we give our reviews from The Huddle for Women.  If you missed it but still want to check it out, you can look at their website: www.thehuddleforwomen.org 

Our Blooper Reel story is about the first time Becky ever used a dishwasher; the day before Patricia’s wedding.  

Take a Timeout

It’s the 3rd quarter and things are getting heated. It’s been a back and forth battle the entire game. We have a game plan, but the girls seem to have forgotten it. They have started making bad passes and committing silly fouls. Now our center is yelling at the point guard about a missed opportunity. I signal to the ref; timeout! I gather the girls together as they get water and take a breather. I remind them about our game plan. I remind them we have been in close games before. I give them instructions moving forward and I send them back into the game.

It makes total sense in a basketball game like that to take a timeout. It’s a strategy. We have lost momentum. The team needs a breather. They need to be reminded who they are and what they are doing. They need instructions moving forward.

Unfortunately, many times in life we have trouble relating this concept. There have been many times in my own life where I can feel myself spiraling. I can feel control being lost; my control of myself. It’s not often just one thing, it’s usually a cascading effect of multiple things. The middle schooler comes home with a bad report card, then the 3rd grader needs help with her homework, the baby wakes up early from his nap and then my husband asks what’s for dinner and I lose it. I find out that the project at work needs to be done earlier than I thought, oh and they are assigning some of my team members to another project starting tomorrow. Are you kidding?

We react. We take it out on whoever is nearby; family, coworkers, friends. What if there was a better way? Is it possible when that straw falls and the camel starts to go down, to take a personal timeout? Hand off the baby and walk into your room. Take a deep breath and excuse yourself to the restroom or your office. Regroup. Refocus. Rally.

In basketball you get your choice of a 30 second or a full (60 second) timeout. Thirty seconds goes by pretty quick, which is fine if we only need to make minor adjustments. For something more involved, I’m taking the full timeout, gathering my team at the bench and having a heart to heart.

Sometimes in life a quick trip to the restroom isn’t going to cut it. You need time and space to process and get back on track. Don’t be afraid to put it on your calendar. Take a half-day off from work. Ask your husband to take the kids out for the afternoon so you can have the house to yourself. Maybe you need even longer and want to get away for a few days to rest and recoup. Don’t be afraid to do what you need to do!

Timeouts are important. They shift momentum. They allow us to breath. They remind us of our priorities and what our game plan is. Sometimes we use them to create a new plan on the fly. They are valuable. They are needed.

If you can feel your game of life starting to slide, don’t make excuses, take the timeout! Then get back in the game!

Play ball,

Patricia

It’s The Climb

I recently had the opportunity to go to a rock climbing gym. I’ve been rock climbing before so I was excited about the prospect. The first thing you do before you can climb is to put on a harness. The harness allows you to tie in to the belay rope and climb safely. The belay rope is a long rope that gets attached to the climber, is threaded through a secure device at the very top of the route near the ceiling and comes all the way back down to the person who will belay the climber. The belayer is also wearing a harness that has a device on it that the rope goes through. That person’s job is to hold the rope secure and watch the climber. If the climber falls, it is their job to hold the rope tight so the climber doesn’t hit the ground.

It’s an interesting concept. As the climber, I am scaling the face of a wall with only small footholds and handholds and trusting in the equipment and the person at the other end of that equipment to save me if I fall. As the climber, I know that my belayer has been trained and certified to do the right things. Their sole job is watch me climb and act as my security net if I fall.

It’s not uncommon to fall off the wall, especially if you are climbing a difficult route or one that takes a while and you start to get tired. That’s what the safety equipment and the belayer are for. Even with all of the knowledge that the safety equipment has been tested and the belayer is certified, that first time you let go of the wall, whether on purpose because you reached the top or on accident because you fell, it can be a nerve racking experience.

Relating that to my own life, do I trust the equipping that God has given me (the Bible) and do I trust God to have the other end of the rope? And what does that really look like?

If I believe the Bible is true, that means that Noah really built a massive boat where there was no water, Moses really told a million people not to panic while an angry army was bearing down on them, and David really walked into a valley to face a giant with only a slingshot. They trusted God. So following along with their stories, Noah and his family ended up being the only survivors of global flood, Moses and a million people walked on dry land between walls of water to safety and David killed a giant with a leather strap and a rock.

God has a proven track record of being trustworthy. Anybody can say they believe the system works while standing on the ground. The real question is, are you willing to exercise that faith and start to climb the wall?

Climb on,

Patricia

Finding Identity

Self-described perfectionist, Gaby Go, talks about how getting her identity wrapped up in her running created a lot of problems for her.  It’s easy for us to see ourselves as what we do, but that can be really detrimental.

Gaby talks about how when she finally stopped putting her identity in something that she could control and put in something bigger than herself, it actually brought so much peace.  Gaby found strength in her faith and in who God says that she is and it made the ups and downs of injuries and setbacks manageable because it no longer defined her.

Gaby is currently in graduate school and on her way to becoming a Doctor of Physical Therapy.  She encourages us to lean into our faith for security and identity instead of the ever changing landscape of our performances.  

In her Highlight Reel, Gaby talks about her new Physical Therapy Instagram page, which you can follow here: https://www.instagram.com/gothedistance_spt/

In her Blooper Reel, Gaby tells a story from a Cross Country race during her time at University of Maryland.  

To find more stories and content, visit our website: http://www.lifeisateamsporteveryday.com 

Nevertheless, she persisted

per·sist/pərˈsist/verb

  1. continue firmly in an opinion or a course of action in spite of difficulty, opposition, or failure.

What sets elite athletes apart from everyone else? It’s not talent; many talented people have faded into oblivion. It’s not strength; strength alone isn’t enough. It’s not skill; skill may turn heads, but won’t stand on it’s own.

The one thing that sets the elite apart is persistence.

Everyone loves the idea of the “overnight success.” The newbie that walks on the scene and makes a splash. It’s what Hollywood movies are made of. But the truth of the matter is that there is no such thing. That rookie that made the papers has been working her tail off in anonymity for years. She has won some and lost some. She has endured early mornings and late nights, sore muscles and injuries, and moments of doubt, where she almost didn’t go on. There have been setbacks too, maybe even neigh sayers.

Sound familiar? Maybe not the elite athlete part, but we can all relate to the process. We can all look at our journey and see the struggles and hard times we have walked through in various aspects of our life.

Calvin Coolidge is famously quoted saying, “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

So what does it take to persist?

Persistence requires purpose. We must be 100% convinced that the journey through will be worth it. When the road is smooth, we glide along without any resistance. When the going gets tough, we often reconsider if we are on the right road. We think that maybe we missed a turn somewhere behind us and perhaps we should flip a u-turn and go back to find it. To persevere on the same route despite bumps and detours, we have to recognize the meaning in the journey and the destination where we are headed.

Persistence requires discipline. Let’s face it. There are days when we want to sleep in, to eat dessert for dinner and to play hooky. Every once in a while, it’s good to give ourselves the space to breathe. But if we are truant too many times, we will find ourselves off the road entirely and headed nowhere. The discipline to be consistent in our pursuit of a goal loses it’s luster at 6am when the alarm reminds us of our commitment, but the bed is warm and inviting. Creating habits help to reinforce the discipline that we need. For example, if I have decided to run a 5k, I need to stick to my running plan. I also need to make sure that I hydrate and fuel my body properly. This might mean that I start writing out a grocery list of healthy things I want to eat while training. Whatever my goal, creating habits that keep me disciplined will help me accomplish it.

Persistence requires support. No man is an island. We all need a support system. Sometimes that comes in the form of family or friends. Sometimes it comes in the form of teammates or people we meet along the way. We need to be willing to reach out for help when we need it. If you broke your arm, you would go to the hospital to get it x-rayed and set. But so many of us when we hit mental and emotional roadblocks, don’t reach out for help to the people who can help us most. I guarantee every one of those elite athletes have a support system. You do too, even if you don’t recognize it. Look around at those people who are walking alongside you or headed in the same direction as you.

Life, after all, is a Team Sport!

Patricia

Dedication or Obsession

Finding and Keeping the Balance in Your Life with Rebekah Trittipoe

Have you ever gotten obsessed with something?  It becomes all you think about and you begin to prioritize it over everything else in your life?  Do you wish there was a way to bring things back to a healthy balance?  

Listen as we talk to Rebekah Trittipoe, ultra marathoner, about knowing the line between dedication and obsession.  Rebekah shares how she got into running and some of the amazing feats that she has accomplished running 50 and 100 mile races through the mountains.  

We talk about today’s sports culture and why kids often burn out from their sport by the time they are 12 years old.  

Rebekah shares two ways to gauge whether you have crossed the line into obsession: 1) Are your closest relationships strained because of this activity? 2) Are you still enjoying it? 

In her Highlight Reel, Rebekah shares why everyone should get the opportunity to be a grandparent.  In her Blooper Reel, she shares why it’s not worth it to make your own kinetic sand, just buy it. 

To check out more great content, check out our website: http://www.lifeisateamsporteveryday.com 

Relationships are Worth the Work

Who do you call when something exciting happens? Who gets the sad text of loss or fear? These are the people I refer to as “My People”. Through thick and thin I can reach out and know they will be there. Our lives ebb and flow with positive and negative situations, however when we have a few people to lean on there is a light in the tunnel. Most people only have 1-3 people they can turn to when the deepest and hardest things happen. That is normal! Building these relationships take time and energy on a daily basis.

Learning about different personalities has enriched my friendships over the years. Figuring out why people do what they do has always interested me. The latest test that has brought joy to my life is the enneagram. You may want to stop reading now, but don’t! The enneagram is a personality test that has 9 different types. This test has unlocked how I tick and allowed me to explore why I do the things I do. It is not an excuse to keep acting a certain way, but to understand why. Finding how my friends scored has also opened doors to conversations we never had before! It has been a tough and exciting ride all roled into one! Joy wells up inside when I realize where certain behaviors or actions come from in my closest people so that I can connect to them better.

Being able to understand another human brings deep satisfaction to both. One of our core needs is to be known and then to be loved and accepted. Having real deep relationships also takes vulnerbility. Being vulnerable means to open oneself to be physically or emotionally wounded. That does not sound like something anyone would want to do on purpose, right? Well in order to truly have deep, healthy people in our lives we have to be willing to allow ouselves to get injured. I am a person who loves BIG. Which I have learned that I also hurt Big because of my intense love. There have been many tears, hugs, and words in my life because of this trait, but I would never trade any of them. The friendships I have speak life to my soul. My challenge is that you can be brave enough to find 1-3 people you can do life with and enjoy the blessings of hurt, pain, joy, and laughter with.

I read an interesting article recently that broke down the levels of relationships we all have with others. There is an inner, middle and outer sanctum. Only 2-5 people will ever be in our inner sanctum. We can know who they are by answering a few questions. If you have a dog they not only know the name, but what the dog does that annoys you on a daily basis! These people are part of your inner squad. The second squad of people know you have a dog and may or may not know their name. This usually is 6-15 people. The last group doesn’t even know you have a dog! The farthest squad are still needed in our lives but are not as connected or know us very well. They will be called on as a community for larger traumas we face. This analogy helped me realize how important all people in my life are, and who will be needed at different points in my life.


Communication is key! Finding ways to encourage, support, and serve the people in your life will bring much joy! Practical ways include:

  1. Send a text of encouragement.
  2. Send a memoji or gif
  3. Set up a phone or zoom date
  4. Buy a random little gift to show you care.
  5. Provide a meal
  6. Send a card in the mail. That doesn’t happen much anymore!
  7. Listen, really listen to your friend or spouse

A phrase, “people come into our lives for a season, a reason, or a lifetime” has helped me to distinguish these groups. Being able to discern who my people are and embrace each person is a gift. The definition of a gift is “given freely with no expectation of return, to bring enjoyment and pleasure.” Treating the people in our life as a gift is what I want to strive for daily. Don’t forget we will make mistakes and having to ask forgiveness and it is all a part of the process as well. Give the grace you want to receive!

Healthy Relationships are worth it!

Becky

Humility as Strength

How do you define humility?  Is it a character trait that you aspire to?  Today we talk to Kaley Evans; former Women’s Basketball player from NC State.  She talks about her experience walking on to the team in college as well as organizing a “Play for Kay” game in high school and her experience with the Kay Yow Foundation.  She talks about how Kay was a role model for her growing up and how she observed humility in her life. 

Kaley defines humility as considering others before yourself and knowing that your role is not to just look out for yourself, but also for your teammates.  She talks about how when we accept our role and not spend our energy wishing it were different, we can derive strength and purpose from humility.  She also talks about the power of admitting that we need help and how that is freeing.   

In her highlight reel, Kaley tells us about her friend’s company, Piedmont Pennies.  They are a local to Chapel Hill company that makes delicious homemade cheese snacks.  You can order your very own cheese pennies here: https://www.piedmontpennies.com/ 

In her blooper reel, Kaley shares an embarrassing moment from her time with the Wolf Pack at a basketball event.  

We want to hear from you!  Email us with questions or comments at lifeisateamsportpodcast@gmail.com 

You can also follow us on Instagram @life_is_a_team_sport or get more great content on our website: www.lifeisateamsporteveryday.com

Beyond Weary

What does it mean to be weary?

Weariness is different than tired. Tired implies short term. If I’m tired I might need sleep or a short break from activity.

Weariness implies weight and length of time. It is lots of tired’s stacked together. Weary is overwhelmed, solemn, almost defeated. It encompasses not just the physical, but the mental, emotional and spiritual part of ourselves. It is the difference between taking a beating and being beaten down.

Weariness is writing your resume in 2019 and then rewriting it in 2020. It is trying to solve the same problem so many times that it consumes you. It is being forced to move from a place that you love. It is the shear exhaustion of continuing to work while being isolated from family and friends and then also having to become your kid’s teacher at home all at the same time. Weariness is looking around and being overwhelmed at the prospect of doing anything.

There is an activity that I have used when speaking to groups where I ask 2 audience members to volunteer. I usually pick the first one and then tell them that for the 2nd person, I need the strongest person in the room, to which I usually end up with an older teenager who clearly lifts weights. I hand them each a text book and tell them to hold it out in front of them with their arms straight while sitting next to me on the stage. The book only weighs a few pounds, so they both can accomplish this easily. Then I tell them to hold it there while I go on to talk about whatever the topic of the day is.

After a few minutes, they are usually both starting to sweat, but the strong guy is trying not to show it. I ask the other person if they would like to ask one of their friends to come out of the audience and help them, to which they always respond yes! Their friend comes down and puts their hands under the book and helps them hold it up. After another few minutes of me talking, the strong guy is almost always in distress. I remind him that a few minutes ago he said the book was easy to hold.
“Well it’s not now,” he usually says.
“I haven’t added any books,” I remind him.
“I don’t know. It just got heavier,” he responds.
I thank and excuse them both.

Isn’t that how weariness works? We carry something that we think don’t think is heavy enough to ask for help with, and so we don’t. But once we carry it for long enough, it becomes overwhelming. There are several applications to the exercise above; the power of asking for help, the power of helping others and also the fact that teamwork doesn’t change the load, just the way we carry it.
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I look around and I see weariness on the faces of people I know and even people that I don’t. There is a heaviness around the eyes, a slumping of the shoulders, a slowness in their step. The physical manifestation of weariness is easy to see. The mental, emotional and spiritual signs might be less obvious, but you can see if them if you look. Mentally it is hard to have a complete thought or even make a plan. Emotionally you might be all over the place, waffling between crying and laughing. Or you might be one step further and have trouble feeling any emotion at all. Spiritually, it is hard to feel blessed and equally hard to feel hope.

So how do we fix it? How do we move beyond weary? Where do we find the strength to go on?

In the example above, the burden became lighter when the person asked for help. The sense of weariness was immediately lifted when people came alongside them. There is a sense determination and encouragement that we can only derive from others. For a runner in a distance race, cheers from the crowd are great, but having another runner come alongside them is even better. Their head lifts, their gate lengthens and they move easier down the route. We all need people; people to encourage us and people for us to encourage.

In the Bible, Jesus tells that the answer to weariness is rest. But it’s not rest in the form of a vacation or a nap. He offers us the opportunity to “take his yoke and learn” from him. At first glance, this seems ridiculous. Why in the world when I’m already burdened by so much, would I want to take on anything else? I would like to suggest that he is not asking you to add to your burdens. He is asking you to exchange them. He is asking you to give him your worries, your cares and all the things that keep you up at night and make you feel helpless. In exchange, he will give you his “yoke.”

A yoke is a type of harness that gets put on oxen that are plowing a field. It allows them to be steered so that they are headed in the right direction and 2 oxen carry it together. Following this example, the yoke that Jesus offers will provide guidance to help us head in the right direction and he will carry it with us.

The full passage from the book of Matthew reads, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

So if you’re feeling weary, do a few more things:

  1. Take a breath
  2. Take a step back and evaluate
  3. Count your blessings
  4. Ask for help
  5. Give your problems to God
  6. Ask him for direction
  7. Wait for the answer

Press on weary traveler! See you in 2021!

Patricia