Today’s Quote on Succeeding

To succeed, you must have tremendous perseverance, tremendous will. “I will drink the ocean”, says the persevering soul; “at my will mountains will crumble up”. Have that sort of energy, that sort of will; work hard, and you will reach the goal. ~ Swami Vivekananda


It Couldn’t Be Done ~ Poem by Edgar Guest

It Couldn’t Be Done

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

Chapter 11 ~ Lisa Faces A Tough Choice

Love to Run 

Chapter 11 ~ Lisa Faces a Tough Choice

Lisa’s dad was standing behind the spectator roped area. Lisa spotted her dad and jogged over to him.

Her dad bowed under the rope and hugged her, “You ran a great race. Where did you get your kick at the finish?”

Lisa shrugged her shoulders and said, “Oh, I just gave it all I got. That’s all. It’s no big deal. Thanks for coming dad. Did I hear you somewhere in the middle of the race?”

“That was me. I was at the start, then I drove ahead to the middle, and after you passed by, I drove to the finish. You had a terrible draw for the start. You might have surprised everybody and won if you had a good draw.”

“I don’t know dad. Mia, Marie, and Leah are really good. Coach said my coming in eighth clinched the victory for us. I’m happy I contributed.”

Her dad smiled at her and said, “Mom said to tell you she wanted to be here, but she couldn’t get away from work. I already called her and she said, we’re all going out for pizza to celebrate.”

Lisa smiled and said, “Thanks, dad. I gotta go.”

As soon as she got to the bus she grabbed her cell out of her backpack to text Nicole .

We won the invitational. I came in eighth. I drew one oh seven, way out on the edge. I didn’t think I’d ever catch up to the leaders. T2UL8R

It was nine o’clock in the evening when Lisa heard text ring. She grabbed her cell hoping it was Nicole.

Congrats Lisa. You’re making me proud. I already bragged about you to the coach and my teammates. I told them you and I are running in the Thanksgiving marathon. Can’t wait.

Lisa texted back.

If I qualify for states, it’s the week before the marathon. Think I can do both?

Nicole texted.

You have the stuff of a champ. We’ll run the marathon as a workout. That’s all. No pressure on either one of us. It will be fun run. It will be good to run together. CUL8R

Over the next five meets, Lisa became an important runner for the Jaguars. Each of the meets was a dual meet and she ran third for her team behind Mia Hale and Leah Landau. Mia and Leah finished one-two in all three races, Lisa finished no lower than sixth.

The cross-country season moved through September into October. The Jaguars won all the dual competition meets in their league. The cross-country season was rapidly coming to an end. The biggest meets of the year were always the last three races of the season. The league meet was the last week of October. After the league meet, all the teams ran at the regionals the first week of November. The regionals were important, because runners were selected to run in the state championship based on their times in the regional competition. The regional and state championships emphasized more individual effort than team effort. There was still a team championship, if a team had at least five runners whose time qualified to run at the state championships. The state championships followed the regionals and was the second weekend of November. Lisa was happy the season ended the Saturday before the Thanksgiving marathon.

On the Monday before the league meet, Coach Kappa asked Mia, Leah, and Lisa to meet with her in her office after practice. Coach Kappa didn’t say anything about what she wanted to discuss with the girls. They asked each other and no one could offer even a guess.

Mia, Leah, and Lisa showered and changed clothes and together went came into Coach Kappa’s office.

Mia said, “What’s up Coach?”

Coach Kappa waved her hand and wanted the girls to sit down. When the girls were seated, she said, “I got good news and bad news. The good news is I think we can repeat as state champions. No team has ever won the title five years in a row. This will be a first. We’ll make history.”

“We can do it, but what’s the bad news?” Mia asked.

Coach Kappa said. “They’ll all be gunning for us. Since they’ve had state championships in cross-country, only three other schools have four titles in a row. They all failed in their fifth attempt. We’ve got a great chance. You three will have to carry the load.
Leah said, “We can do it, Coach. Lisa’s really improved, she’s pushing Mia and me.”
Coach Kappa smiled, then said, “I’m hoping Marie and Sara, our numbers four and five can finish in the top thirty. If they do and you three finish among the top ten runners we stand a good chance at repeating as state champions.”

Lisa was silent. She knew it was not her place to speak when she was with the two co-captains.

Leah said, “Coach, what’s the bad news. It sounds pretty good to me. We just have to run our best race of the season.”

Coach Kappa nodded, she lifted her Jaguars ball cap and scratched her head, then replaced the ball cap back on her head, pulling her ponytail through the back. “Show of hands. Who’s running in the Thanksgiving marathon?”

Lisa raised her hand. Mia raised her hand. And, Leah raised her hand.

“That’s what I thought. I’m not saying don’t run in the marathon, but you can’t think about it. We got to be of one mind. Everybody on the team looks up to you three. If they think you’re not doing everything you can do to win the league, regionals, and states, they’ll let down,” Coach Kappa said.

“We won’t let up Coach. Can we do long runs on Sunday to prep for the marathon?” Mia said.

Coach Kappa shook her head, “What it means is no long runs on Saturdays or Sundays to get ready for the marathon. I want your total focus. It’s the only way we have a chance. A friend of mine from our biggest rival outside our league said she heard the Stinson coach say this is their year and they plan to knock us off. They’re undefeated in their league as well. I want a show of hands. Can I count on the three of you to give a total focus and be a great example for the team?”

“You can count on me coach,” said Mia raising her hand.

“Same here Coach,” said Leah raising her hand like Mia.

Lisa stood silently. There was no way she was going to miss running with Nicole for any reason. Her mind was on the marathon. Coach Kappa interrupted her thoughts, “Lisa, what about you?”

Lisa pushed her thoughts out of her mind and raised her hand, “Sorry coach, count on me. I’m all in.”

Mia, Leah, Lisa and Coach Kappa, placed their hands one on top of the other and on the count of three shouted, “STATES – BRING HOME THE TROPHY.”

Chapter 5 ~ She’s a Natural

Love to Run ~ A Story of Two Sisters

Chapter 5 ~ She’s A Natural

Coach Kappa parked on Lawson Street, a short distance from the bridge. She got out of her car and walked to where she had a view of the river trail, but remained unseen by anyone on the trail. She looked west toward the running trail on the East side of the river. Coach Kappa saw three bicycle riders, riding single file on the west side of the river. The second and third riders were drafting of the the lead rider. Coach Kappa thought they were trying for a PR. She saw a woman walking a Brittany on the east toward the direction she expected to see Lisa. The Brittany was tugging at the leash and pulling the woman onto the grass. Two early morning joggers came into view, they were running at easy pace talking with each other. They skirted around the woman with the Brittany.
Coach Kappa waited. Five minutes later, she caught sight of Lisa. Coach Kappa looked at her watch, smiled and then looked back to Lisa. It was a bit over a mile from where Lisa entered the trail to where Coach Kappa spotted her. She studied Lisa’s form. Lisa was running effortless, her arms swinging in perfect form and rhythm. If Coach Kappa didn’t know the difference, she would have thought she was looking at a shorter version of Nicole. Coach Kappa had a gut feeling Lisa was a natural. Her job was to help Lisa reach her potential.
Lisa didn’t see Coach Kappa watching her. Everything changed for Lisa after Coach showed her the text message from Nicole. She felt something inside her change when she left Coach Kappa and headed toward the river trail. She remembered her first three strides on the river trail where she repeated Nicole’s words, ‘Make me proud.’ She kept repeating the words with each stride. It wasn’t long before she forgot about Nicole leaving for college and only thought of running to make Nicole proud of her. She couldn’t wait to text Nicole and tell her about her run.
The Lawson Avenue bridge was the half-way mark where Lisa left the river trail and began her loop toward home. When she reached the bridge, she bounded up the steps, two at a time, to the road. She turned left on Lawson and headed for the high school athletic fields a mile and half away.
Coach Kappa anticipated Lisa’s route, it was Nicole’s favorite early morning run. She often told Coach Kappa about it. Coach Kappa got in her car, and drove over to Maple Street, just down from the entrance to the faculty parking lot, but with a good view of the athletic field. She got out of her car and walked a short distance to where she could get a view of where she expected Lisa to come out of the high school athletic fields and head home. It wasn’t long before Coach Kappa saw Law come through the far gate near the softball field and begin her run around the perimeter of the field.
Coach Kappa watched Lisa glide along on the back side of the field following the fenced in boundary. Lisa came up the west side of the field behind the football stands and passed through the gate near the teachers’ parking lot behind the high school. She crossed through the parking lot, and took a right onto the high school driveway. She turned out of the driveway onto Maple Street. Coach Kappa stood next to a large maple tree on the opposite side of the road out of Lisa’s view. When Coach Kappa caught sight of Lisa, she looked at her watch and absentmindedly nodded approvingly.

Today’s Quote by Mark Twain

Today’s Quote for Writers

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. – Mark Twain

All My Life – A Poem by Pen Anthony

All my life

by Pen Anthony

I’ve creeped out of sorrows
I’ve crawled out of dissapointments
I’ve held on to broken dreams
I’ve lay on an empty belly, having chewed on
water just to save my teeth from turning
Yet i’ve learnt not to curse a dawn as it brings
me life
I’ve learnt that every new day is a gift, as it
presents me a fate i have to unravel
best i’ve learnt to smile through all this
I’ve lived on hope of a hope
of a change in fortune
my good friend sowed hope in me
she said, ‘friend where there is hope there is

Today’s Quote by Mihai Eminescu

Today’s Quote

I understand that a man can have everything having nothing and nothing having everything. ~ Mihai Eminescu

Quote for Today – January 8, 2018

Today’s Quote

If you’re going to be a writer, the first essential is just to write. Do not wait for an idea. Start writing something and the ideas will come. You have to turn the faucet on before the water starts to flow. ~ Louis L’Amour

A New Story Begins In 2 Days

Ray Bradbury’s book, Zen in the Art of Writing, has had a profound freeing experience on my writing. I’ve read it at least a half dozen times and keep my worn out paperback copy close by. I pick it up whenever my writing spirit needs to catch fire. Here’s a bit from his book to fire you up.

“And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.” ~  Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

A new serialized story, Doing It Our Way, begins in 2 days

The Playground of Life XIX – Poem by Khalil Gibran

The Playground of Life XIX by Khalil Gibran

One hour devoted to the pursuit of Beauty 
And Love is worth a full century of glory 
Given by the frightened weak to the strong. 

From that hour comes man’s Truth; and 
During that century Truth sleeps between 
The restless arms of disturbing dreams. 

In that hour the soul sees for herself 
The Natural Law, and for that century she 
Imprisons herself behind the law of man; 
And she is shackled with irons of oppression. 

That hour was the inspiration of the Songs 
Of Solomon, an that century was the blind 
Power which destroyed the temple of Baalbek. 

That hour was the birth of the Sermon on the 
Mount, and that century wrecked the castles of 
Palmyra and the Tower of Babylon. 

That hour was the Hegira of Mohammed and that 
Century forgot Allah, Golgotha, and Sinai. 

One hour devoted to mourning and lamenting the 
Stolen equality of the weak is nobler than a 
Century filled with greed and usurpation. 

It is at that hour when the heart is 
Purified by flaming sorrow and 
Illuminated by the torch of Love. 
And in that century, desires for Truth 
Are buried in the bosom of the earth. 
That hour is the root which must flourish. 
That hour of meditation, the hour of 
Prayer, and the hour of a new era of good. 

And that century is a life of Nero spent 
On self-investment taken solely from 
Earthly substance. 

This is life. 
Portrayed on the stage for ages; 
Recorded earthly for centuries; 
Lived in strangeness for years; 
Sung as a hymn for days; 
Exalted but for an hour, but the 
Hour is treasured by Eternity as a jewel.