Monday, November 19, 2007

Chasing Dreams

We all have dreams. We wish for happiness, personal satisfaction, health for ourselves, family and friends. Some people dream of wealth, fame, success. The list is endless. Individual dreams are no more countable than the grains of sand on a beach. Each person's aspirations are as valid as the next's.

And whether or not we're willing to admit it, the fact still remains: we're all chasing dreams. Each one of us. All the time. From birth to death, at any given moment we're on our own personal quest to fulfillment. There are times when that journey is apparent, when it seems to consume us. Other times it is so delicate, subtle and unspoken we may have a hard time recognizing the dream being chased--even if it's one of our own.

This past weekend I got a chance to get a bird's-eye view of dream chasing at its best. My husband and I were spectators at a soccer game! At the Soccer Hall of Fame, even. The big time, the "show", the whole enchilada in soccer world, I think. I imagine that simply playing there at all would be the realization of a dream.

I realize there are a gazillion "soccer moms" (and dads!) out there but I'd never before seen a soccer game. Not on television, and certainly not from the stands. I had, of course, a general idea of the game and how it's played. A big grass rectangle, men in soccer uniforms running around with a ball. Lots of kicking and ball rolling, stuff like that. Right? I'm not so sports challenged that I couldn't figure it out ... or so I thought. Live and learn, huh? My idea of soccer was just a hint at what an actual game is like.

To say it was an exciting event would be an understatement. The roar of the crowd, vibration of the stands and almost-tangible thud of hearts as players ran across the field pursuing a speeding blot of white ... it was all almost too much to take in. I forgot the chill in the air as soon as my bottom hit the frozen seat, the warmth brought in the hearts of family and friends watching enough to make me forget my behind. My husband and I were both instantly caught up in the excitement, and amazed by the talent of the players.

Of course we were there to cheer on one player and his team but as I watched I knew every player deserved applause for his effort, both individually and as a member of his team. I was proud of all of them, and although I wanted Patrick's team to win I didn't want the other team to fail. A definite Catch-22, don't you think? Not easy to watch one team's dream elude their grasp while another clutches it firmly to heart.

So many things go into chasing a dream. Commitment, determination, ambition and hope, just to name a few. I saw all that, and more, on the soccer field this past weekend. My husband and I loved the experience and between you and I, I wouldn't be at all surprised if soccer games find their way into our television programming. I'll just have to figure out when "soccer season" begins.

Honestly, I don't think it much matters who won or lost-- I know, I know, you're all screeching about winners and losers right now. Going on about the object of any game, or chasing any dream, being success. I hear you, and I understand that point. Really, I do.

But I believe that every guy on the field won. Did you hear me? Every guy. Each and every one of them. Why? Because success can be measured in as many ways as dreams can be chased. There is no more definitive measure of success than there is absolute certainty of the weight of a cloud or the number of grains on that beach we spoke of earlier. They all won. They had the guts, drive, ambition and glimmer of hope that let them chase their dreams. They worked hard, played well and warmed the hearts of everyone lucky enough to watch them play.

I loved my first soccer game. Can you tell? The experience gave me memories that will make me smile for a long, long time. My husband and I have been reliving the game for nearly two days now and the excitement is still as fresh as it was when we were on the frozen stands. Doesn't get much better than that, does it?

Chasing dreams is something we all do. Getting invited to watch dreams being chased is a privilege.

Our weekend was incredible. I hope yours was, too.


Anonymous said...

I never looked at a game this way before. Thanks for writing this. I see more now than I ever did before. Beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post! :-)