This post should also be called “Kate makes history” because I’m about to make a sports analogy. And not just any sports analogy: a FOOTBALL analogy.
So mark your record books.
I find myself continually being that one football player who catches the ball and runs with it. But with any reckless, unfocused way of going about things (which I sometimes end up using), things go wrong.
In some cases, I “take it and run” without getting a firm grip on the pigskin, and lose it pretty quickly in a fumble that results in a series of groaning and face-palming from the grandstands. Other times, I get a good enough grasp on it, but rocket off on such a fast start I can’t see where I’m sprinting, so I end up going the exact opposite direction from the line of scrimmage.
Unfortunately, running that fast means I run people right over and they get hurt — mostly emotionally in my case. I can’t describe the self-loathing I feel when I cause pain in another human being.
This past month, I’ve hurt people. I’ve been less than cordial to some, left others completely out of my life without much of a thought. I’ve lived the Ayn Rand life; looking out for myself, and to hell with the rest of the world. I’m a reporter, gosh darn it, and my work is more important than the rest of yours.
I look back and I see how I treated my family. My roommates. Some of my friends, both at Mizzou and home. Conversations were dominated by what I was going to do, what great work I was doing. There were very few question marks put in place when I was talking. It was always a conversation based on my life, not really on what was going on on the other side of the ethernet cord or cell signal. And it was always because I was running too fast to see where I was going or who I was bowling over.
Mom put it in a great way to me when she finally called me out on it a week ago. Walter Payton would also grab that ball and run. Unlike me, however, he only made it look like he was running his fastest until the opposing players almost caught him: then he would go full gear. I put on the full sprint right at the getgo because I’ve trained myself this semester to jump headfirst into things without much inhibition; he put on a feint (much like the Wronski Feint, a popular quiddich move*) that made everyone think he was working his hardest, but gave him time to think things through more thoroughly.
*Oh, come on. If I make a football analogy, I’m going to make a quiddich one, too.
I need to what Payton did — make it look like I’m running as fast as I can, just to freak out the other players, before putting on that full sprint at the end when I can see well enough where I’m going. I need to be at least open to the other players on my team — family, friends, roommates — and be more receptive of their placement on the field. Maybe that way, I won’t run over so many people and fewer will get hurt.
Thanks, Mom. And thanks, Number 34.