The Scolai

“Just a Good Guy…With a Few Bad Habits”

“Running with the Ball”

with one comment

If you decide to run with the ball,  just plan on fumbling and getting the shit knocked out of you a lot, but never forget how much fun it is just to able to run with the ball.” 

Jimmy Buffett wrote those words in “Tales from Margaritaville.” I have followed his career since “Come Monday” and consider myself a half-assed Parrot Head.When it comes to most political issues, we are polar opposites, but I love his music and respect him as a songwriter and author. 

 I have the above quote in my locker at work, and think of it a few times a month. Sometimes I wonder: What does it really mean to “run with the ball?” 

Coming from a family of mainly white collar workers, you would probably think that I see it as a Cadillac, Expense account, Secretary, Corner office type of existence. When I was very young that was true. I’m sure many people have that goal in mind and, for those who achieve it; I’m sure they are happy and feel they are “running with the ball.”

I know a man who recently retired after 28 years in the Fire Service.
Just before Christmas, I saw him at a party and asked how he liked retirement. He looked at me and said: “I’ve been in a uniform since I was 19; it took me awhile to figure out what to wear!” He meant it as a joke, but his life as a
Vietnam vet, Paramedic, and Fire ground commander, speaks to his time spent running with the ball.

 A woman I know was left to raise three kids on her own. It wasn’t her idea, but she didn’t shrink from the challenge. She keeps her head up, goes to work, goes to school, volunteers at school activities, runs a house, raises a family, and still remains a pleasure to be around. She is running with the ball.

Another woman I know stayed home with three kids to give them a solid base from which to begin their lives. Today, with her kids old enough to take care of themselves, she works long hours running a successful company that offers flexible work opportunities to stay at home mothers. She is running with the ball.

I know a guy who has never had a resume’. Since college he has worked in a number of fields and been highly successful in each. He has never looked to change careers; when change has come, it has come to him. He has a large circle of friends, a beautiful wife and great kids. He is running with the ball.

What does it really mean to run with the ball? For me it means being grateful for the gifts God has given me. It means taking care of my wife and children, being a friend to my friends and a brother to my brothers in the Fire service and in my MC. Today it is riding on a fire engine to cut a woman out of wrecked automobile, running a pump panel on the fire ground or helping to deliver a baby. Years ago, it was working as a Deputy Sheriff and Drill Instructor at a county boot camp. Farther than that it was working on a fishing boat in Florida with my brother and standing a post in cold war Germany.
It means doing the best you can with what you’ve got day in and day out, and always giving thanks for the chance to just “BE”.

Ask yourself what it means to you.



Written by thescolai

January 6, 2007 at 4:36 am

One Response

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  1. Ever since Kevin Costner expressed the desire to “just be” (Bull Durham), I have tried hard to be able to do so. I admit, it isn’t always easy to do…especially when you know that dropping the ball isn’t an option.

    A fellow ball runner

    January 8, 2007 at 8:44 am

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