Category Archives: Body
“Behind every good _____, there’s a good ________,” they say. But I say, after every good stroke, there is a good follow through. After every good kick, after every good serve, after every good swing, after every good putt, after every good throw, there is a good follow through. It’s not an accident that a successful effort is followed by a smooth finish.
Of course, the reverse is also generally true: after a poor stroke, there is a poor follow through. Same with kick. Same with serve, swing, putt, and throw. An unsuccessful effort generally shows itself in its wayward finishing flourish, or lack of one.
How we finish says a great deal about our performance. Finish with ease and balance and we’ve likely been accurate and effective. Finish abruptly and off kilter and we’ve likely missed the mark. Stopping short usually spells failure.
On the surface, this seems odd. Shouldn’t our success depend on what happens when we impart the force, impact the projectile or strike the implement? I mean, how much effect can a follow through really have after I’ve already achieved launch?
The key to the great finish is the freedom to “swing for the fences.” The deep breath of release that allows you to unleash full force, to let ‘er rip and see where she lands. This freedom to swing out of your shoes is the object of every amateur’s dreams and the signature of every champion’s finish. For sure, it has been honed over thousands of hours of painstaking attention to alignment, preparation, timing and execution.
Show me a good finish and I’ll tell you who made the putt, threw the strike, split the fairway or cleared the fence nearly every time. We’re meant to complete what we’ve started. To follow a strong start with a strong finish.
Just like our Designer who assures us we can be confident of this, “that the One who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” ~ Phil 1:6
Because the One who put us into motion has planned for our completion, we can swing for the fences without fear of striking out, we can pull full force without fear of falling, we can strike our shot without fear of missing.
Because the finish line ain’t moving. Neither is the fence, the hole, the base or the baseline. We’re meant to keep swinging, free and clear, trusting the outcome, come what may.
We’re not designed to come to a sudden stop. We’re meant to swing and follow through, kick and follow through, throw and follow through, serve and follow through. That’s how we learn to trust ourselves and our practice.
We should have planned this from the beginning. Fortunately, Someone did.
Steady, Steady as she goes Climb aboard. Pedal, foot to the pedal Daddy’s got you. Whoaaaa, Wobblinggg, Wheww, got my balance. Roll, Rolling, easy does it. Fast, Faster, this is easy! Look at me! Tip, Tipping, Daddy, where are you? Steer, Handle bars steering Squeeze, Breaks are slowing Turn, Guiding and turning Pedal, Push a bit harder Pedal,, Move a bit faster Pedal,,, Gettin' it going! Dodge the bump Ford the stream Climb the hill Chart the course See you when you get home! What a shame if I had held on and you could go only as fast as your father And no farther.
” I am special because … I am really good at playing soccer.”
Saw this today. A mother’s shout-out from her teacher-parent conference, complete with an image of her young child, kindergarten age, with a quotation bubble completing this phrase. His smiling face hovered atop a cutout body, colored with red and green crayolas.
It is no surprise that this child has skills advanced for his age. His parents are dynamite soccer players. From the cradle, he has been immersed in this game. It’s a great game. Wonderful to teach children how to use their bodies well, and when they’re older, how to work with teammates, how to take direction from coaches, how to focus on what’s important and not on all that chatter from the sidelines.
But little one, though today you may excel at playing soccer compared to your teammates or classmates or age mates, there will come a day when, by comparison, you may fall short. And on that day I hope you will remember what was true long before this day. I hope you hear it from your teacher, your coaches, your parents — even and especially if they’re also you’re coaches: you are special before you ever take the field.
I know they feel this way, but perhaps in the muddle of midget soccer things have gotten confused or at least confounded. You have connected yourself with capability and so you wear your confidence proudly. You’re rewarded for your accomplishment and it becomes hard to distinguish yourself from it. It’s who you are; it’s what you do; it’s what you love to do, what you’re meant to do, where you’re meant to be, who you’re meant to be; it’s what you’re made for.
How I would love this for you, if only….
If only, instead of “I am special because I can…,” you could begin with “I am special because I am …..” Unique in all the world. The only me that will ever be. Nothing compares with that.
Be bold, little one, but first, be you.