Archives For Strength

His first love

February 28, 2020

Forever ago, a little boy asked his mom and dad

Can I play basketball?

So a ball was placed in his hands

To travel with sometimes

To dribble others

To protect from the hands of defenders

His shoelaces seemed to never stay tied

While he ran his fastest and played his hardest

He took in criticism and accolades

And his parents grew to understand

This game was his first love

And that love is shared by his best friends

The older we get the luckier we are

To close chapters and collect memories

Until the clock ticks down to zero

Owen senior year

Bellevue West boys basketball team class of 2020 seniors and parents on senior night.

 

This is the tenth (#10) in a series of 100-word posts I plan to write. This post is dedicated to all Nebraska high school basketball players getting ready to enter post season play. Especially the senior players and their parents.

My ultimate goal is to create 100 of these 100-word posts in no set time frame. Thanks for following along!

Written by Heidi Woodard

It’s JUST a Game

March 1, 2018

It’s JUST a game of dribbling, passing, shooting, boxing out, rebounding, fouling, pressing, losing, and winning.

It’s JUST a handful of months out of the calendar year devoted to lifting, conditioning, ball handling, and pushing oneself to achieve more than the day before.

It’s JUST a day here and a night there spanning several weeks gathered together with coaches and teammates sharing meals and laughs.

It’s JUST watching film, checking tweets and snaps, and scouting your competition.

It’s JUST putting yourself out there in front of fans who will both celebrate your successes and ruthlessly judge your every move, decision, and game stat.

It’s JUST a span of three days out of 365 total throughout the year.

It’s JUST something you can’t really describe until you experience it.

Here we are, baby. State basketball is right around the corner.

2018 bracket

c/o @OmahaHSHoops

I’ve written before about the Bellevue West Thunderbirds advancing to the big show. I’ve interviewed their head coach, Doug Woodard, who also happens to be my father-in-law.

Yes, in the grand scheme of life and with everything happening in our world, it’s easy to question how young adults playing a game can mean so much to so many.

Yet the older I get, the more I appreciate the unbridled joy of it all.

TBirds 2018

The 2018 Bellevue West TBirds celebrate their District Championship.

It is a privilege to be able to witness young people working towards and achieving a common goal together. Away from screens, virtual gaming, and online judgment.

This is not only their experience. It is shared by young fans looking up to them with wide eyes of admiration. It is shared by a community that rallies behind them in their chase for the ultimate title.

Nico 2018

Junior Nico Felici cutting down the net while young fans watch.

This is the time of year that you never truly know what can happen, which is equal parts exciting and terrifying.

This is the time of year that you see young athletes’ dreams within reach. When you cheer ferociously for your own team. When you nod your head in admiration for the talent they play against.

This is the time of year when older generations – myself included – live extra vicariously through their offspring.

fam

Myself, my oldest, and my husband post-District win.

Only eight teams remain in Nebraska’s NSAA Class A competition and, in one week from today, that group will begin the journey of survival on the hardwood.

Good luck to Millard South, Omaha Central, Bellevue West, Kearney, Lincoln Pius X, Creighton Prep, Lincoln East, and Omaha Bryan.

Written by Heidi Woodard

I’m here to conquer you, New Year. You should know this about me…I’m not, and have never been, deficient in the confidence department.

But I’m a realist too. And, realistically speaking, I know I represent false hope. Because today I am shouting from the mountain top.

Where will I be in 30 days, 6 months, 1 year from today?

I signed up to run my fourth Half Marathon on May 4, which as my Facebook friends should know by now, means they need to decide if they want to unfriend me. I’m going to publicly share how I’ve either met my training goals or failed miserably. Consider yourself forewarned.

I’ve committed to giving up pop for the next 30 days. Or, as I like to call it, my happy juice. I’m in the process of developing coping strategies that don’t involve the beheading of my spouse or getting fired from my job.

I got on the treadmill and logged a very slow and steady 3.5 miles this morning. It felt good. It always does before you allow the soreness to soak in.

I’ve committed to attending a kickboxing class on Friday. I figure I’ll have a lot of pent-up rage from seeing everyone around me drinking pop by then. My imaginary sparring partner won’t stand a chance against me. I’ll actually likely envision the 20-year old version of myself with her flat stomach and ability to eat anything without regret staring back at me. She’s going down.

Finally, I’ve vowed to read more as part of The Empty Shelf Challenge.

Yep, that seems to be enough crap to concentrate on for now.

Good luck to everyone with all your many resolutions. Let’s remember that, at the end of the day, we’re all pretty awesome as is.

New Year. Same ol me.

New Year. Same ol me.

Written by Heidi Woodard