Audra Krell

On Purpose

Archive for the category “Sports”

The Closer Mariano Rivera

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You don’t have to enjoy baseball to love Wayne Coffey’s “The Closer”. You don’t even have to have a son named Keegan who asked if we could go to court to legally change his name to “Keegan Jeter Krell.” Heck you don’t even have to like the Yankees.

What you should like is the story of a man from humble beginnings, full of life and humility, who knows exactly WHO puts the heat on his fastball. Rivera thanks the Lord consistently for all he’s been given. He also professes his awareness that he’s known for a long time that “He is using me for His own purposes,” referring to the Lord.

And in other news, the Yankees drafted his son, Mariano Rivera III, a couple of days ago. I think that’s really neat. And if mama thinks it’s cool…..well you know the rest.

I do heartily recommend The Closer for the informative, but especially inspiring true story, Coffey tells so well.

About the Author

Mariano Rivera was a New York Yankee for nineteen seasons. He is Major League Baseball’s all-time saves and ERA leader, a thirteen-time All-Star, and a five-time World Champion. He and his wife, Clara, have three sons and live in New York.
Wayne Coffey is one of the country’s most acclaimed sports journalists. A writer for the New York Daily News, he co`wrote R. A. Dickey’s bestselling Wherever I Wind Up and is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Boys of Winter, among other books. He lives in the Hudson Valley with his wife and children.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to give a positive review.

The Boxing Writer

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I box to be a better writer.

For most, writing is very emotional. Sometimes I have so much feeling, that it prohibits good writing. 

When we were young, we were taught to punch a pillow when we got angry. I thought that sounded stupid. Now I wish I'd tried it.

Kicking and punching the heavy bag brings out emotions I didn't know I had. After burning 600 calories in 30 minutes, you feel depleted on every level, everything is stripped away.

When I'm down to the bare bones, it's time to write. I still have the emotions fresh on my mind, but because I have dealt with them, my craftsmanship can come through. I use my experiences to carefully construct meaningful dialogue with a powerful takeaway. 

Boxing allows me to get out of myself, which puts my focus where it should be.

On you, the reader.

Teachable aside: if you want to laugh your you-know-what off and need humorous material for your column, drop by the gym and you'll see a spaz trying not to bite someone's ear off. 

I never said it was pretty.

The Pitcher Whisperer

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Today is Keegan's golden birthday. He said he doesn't feel any different, but I do! It's like a rite of passage or something….I. have. an. 18. year. old. I cannot get it through my head. If he's 18, how old does that make the rest of us? You can do the math, perhaps you'll be as shocked as I am.

This picture was taken when he was a few days old. Born 10 weeks premature, he weighs 3 lbs. 9 ou if you include the weight of the ball. 

One day while visiting the NICU, I distinctly heard him ask for a baseball. I called my husband and he brought his from when he was a child. Keegan's breathing slowed and became even. He was at peace.

Thanks to my ability to hear and interpret the chatter of a week old baseball player, Keeg grew up to be a 6'1 pitcher. We kicked that preemie stuff to the curb and never looked back.

He's also a darn fine person. We are blessed beyond reason by the man he has become.

Happy Birthday Googs! You'll always be our baby.

"Pitchers Like Poets Are Born Not Made" – Cy Young

Wrestling Faith

By now you've probably heard about Joel, who refused to wrestle a girl and thus had to forfeit the match.

He walked away because of his faith. He believes in respecting women and didn't feel he could do that by wrestling.

Rick Reilly, a noted ESPN columnist wrote a demeaning story (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=6136707)  about why Joel should have wrestled her. He says the young woman "relishes the violence" and "loathes being protected."

So, she's asking for it Rick? I didn't realize that if we decide a woman is asking to be disrespected that it's okay to do whatever we want to her, because she "deserves it" since she asked for it.

I thought we'd been trying to fight against those messages for a long time.

The world needs a whole lot more real men like Joel. He is a man who stands up for what he believes in, based on who he is, not on who other people may or may not be. Whether the young woman wanted to be respected and defended or not, Joel chose the right way based on his convictions and beliefs.

Integrity and respect mean more to Joel than a wrestling title. My mom taught me that you'll never regret being nice to people. Joel's conviction and kindness will take him a lot further than any wrestling title ever could.

When Good Parents Are Bad Sports

IStock_000014694151XSmall Is it Scottsdale or does it happen everywhere? Great fathers. Doting, kind mothers, turn into lunatics when their sons and daughters take the floor at a sporting event.

Parents reliving what they wish their lives had been is becoming an epidemic.

Children take heart, I'm here with several tips for managing your unruly parent:

  • Acknowledge your parent's feelings. Let them know that while you don't approve of their bad behavior, you understand how frustrating it is that their childhood dreams didn't turn out like they wanted.
  • Keep a bag of healthy snacks with you at all times. A hungry parent is often an angry parent. Plus, peeling pistachios or dipping carrots in ranch dressing might just keep their mind off every move you, the umpire or the coaches make.
  • Remind your parent that they will probably become frustrated again during games. Visualize together,ways they could behave differently the next time. 
  • Offer your parent several choices. Parents like choices. It makes them feel like they're in control. Example: Either they only scream at the 12- year- old volunteer referee 5 times or they can choose to sit in the time- out chair. 
  • Perplexed about how long a time-out should be? A good rule of thumb is one minute per year of age. Most parents are at least old enough to get you through half time at an average sporting event.

When all else fails children, take heart. This too shall pass. 

SCL:Claiming Sports are the ROAE

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(I reviewed this book last week and loved it! The following post is a contest entry. It's a chance to write my own version of stuff christians like and if I win, I'll be featured on Jonathan Acuff's blog Stuff Christians Like.)

We all know those
families at Church. They’re hardly ever there due to the amount of sports their kids participate in, but we’ve heard about them. We see them occasionally if
they aren’t in an “out-of-state-traveling-competitive-team” tournament.

Sometimes only part of the family will show up on any given
Sunday and that’s when we start in. 

If you’re a
Christian family who happens to love sports, use this handy guide for shot
blocking unsolicited advice.

Well-meaning judger: The Krells aren’t here, they had three games this weekend.
Three! They’re totally addicted.

Your response tailored to how many kids you have: We average more like eight games a weekend. An addiction is
something you can’t stop doing. We have three boys who each play two sports.
Sometimes they play double headers. We are talking simple math here friend, not
addiction. 

Well-meaning judger: Sports get in the way of family time.

You: Yes, I can see it would get in the way of couch time in
front of ESPN while your wife blogs and your kids play video games.

Well- meaning judger: You never let your kids play, or just be kids.

You: I’m sorry little Johnny/Jane doesn’t have an athletic
bone in his/her body. We’ll play, I mean pray for you.

Well- meaning judger: Your kids don’t pray enough.

You: They pray before free throws and point toward the
sky in the end zone. That single finger point clearly gives all the glory where
it’s due. Sure Matthew 6:5-6 tells us to pray in a secret place. However it’s
hard to be humble when you play in eight games a weekend. 

Well-meaning judger: Your kids don’t do God’s work; mission work.

You: You just don’t want my kid to witness more than yours.
Obviously when my son kneels in the end zone he’s ministering to the masses.
That’s more effective than knocking on one door at a time.

Well-meaning judger: Your kids give up their right to ask for God’s safety if
they choose to endanger themselves on the insane court of basketball.

You: I’m still searching the Bible for the list of things I
can’t go to God about. When I
find it, if “standing on the soccer field” tops the list, we’ll quit. By the way, I find you very competitive, almost sports-like.

Well-meaning judger: Sports are the ROAE. The root of all evil I tell you.

You: Actually in 1 Tim. 6:10, it says the “love of money” is
a root of all kinds of evil. The words sports and money are not
interchangeable. Unless you’re talking about professional athletes, then indeed
the words are synonymous. But the most my kid has asked for is to “show
him the Gatorade.”

And finally, when they next level it by stating “Asking God for a win
implies that he is an arbitrary God.” You simply reply: I don’t know much, but
Jesus loves me, this I know.

Arbitrary or not, this I know.

We Got Disappointed

I’m writing an article on children and disappointment and need YOUR help! 

Children today have been raised to believe that life is a team sport.  From preschool groups, to Toastmasters, to Little League to Youth group, everything is done in a pack.  When children don’t make the groups they try out for, disappointment has become devastating and sometimes even debilitating for some.

Remember the 8th place finalist on season 5 of American Idol?  Bucky Covington didn’t make it to the top of Idol, but he is a major country music star now.  I am sure he was disappointed to not win AI, but somehow he found his way in this great big world.

The lyrics from his hit "A Different World," are fascinating to me.

"Not every kid made the team when they tried. We got disappointed and that was all right.  We turned out all right."

So what to do when you need to help your child move on to better things?  How do you combat and ease the disappointment your child faces when they "don’t make the team?" 

I need at least ten people to respond, and Dad’s, I am super interested in your responses.  Please comment at the bottom of this post, or you can email me HERE.

Thanks in advance for your help with this! 

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