There is a great moment in “A League of Their Own” (watch it here), when Dottie is planning on going back to Oregon with her husband Bob, and her manager confronts her about her choice:
Jimmy Dugan: Shit, Dottie, if you want to go back to Oregon and make a hundred babies, great, I’m in no position to tell anyone how to live. But sneaking out like this, quitting, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. Baseball is what gets inside you. It’s what lights you up, you can’t deny that.
Dottie Hinson: It just got too hard.
Jimmy Dugan: It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.
Not only is it my favorite movie line of all time (DailyPromptChallenge), but it’s a poetic philosophy of life for me.
There are things in my life that I *think* are hard. Teaching junior high. Teaching Latin. Living on a tiny teaching salary in a boring town. Finishing up my credential process. Long distance relationship. Learning how to really communicate and compromise in said relationship. Staying pure before marriage in said relationship. Coaching highly dramatic and highly emotional girls volleyball. Trying to get back into shape and failing miserably every time boyfriend offers me a glass of wine or ice cream. Trying to be a Christian role model for my students. Dealing with what seems like death after death after death in my circle of family and friends. And of course, trying to figure out what I’m doing with my life.
I *think* these things are hard. They aren’t “I have to walk two miles a day to find water” hard. They aren’t being a single mom hard. They aren’t battling addiction, fighting in a war, living in third world country hard. But they are my life’s version of hard at the moment.
I’m a generally cheerful and silver linings kind of person, but I can get depressed and overwhelmed with all of life’s life. And when I do, this quote always comes to me. “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.”
I try to remember that if it were easy, everyone would teach junior high. If it were easy, everyone would go to school full time and work full time at the same time. If it were easy, we would all be in fabulous relationships, be thin and beautiful, say all the right things, coach undefeated teams, and be perfectly supportive and right on track with five- and ten-year plans. We’d live debt free and always make good choices.
And probably be very, very bored.
I don’t want handouts, I don’t want charity, I don’t want it too easy. I want to be satisfied only by working hard; I want to earn it, I want to own it, whatever “it” is.
Because the hard *is* what makes anything great.
I like that I have to work hard to be a good teacher. I live for those “a-ha!” moments from my kids when they finally get some weird Latin grammar point I’ve poured my sweat and tears into explaining.
I like that I’m too broke to spend money on things I don’t need or would regret, so that I get excited when I make a “big” purchase like new outdoor pillows for my fire pit lounge.
I like that I work hard at my relationship, because it means that we both think it’s worth it; that it’s special and forever.
I like that coaching is all I think about; that I get to be a part of a girl’s super formative years and teach her something she can enjoy forever.
I like the calorie burn on my heart rate monitor, and feeling so sore it hurts to brush my hair the next day, even if I never lose a pound.
I love the mystery of God who loves me even when I make bad choices, and takes care of me and is there even as my friends and family pass away. Even when it’s hard to believe in Him. Especially when it’s hard to believe in me.
It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.
- The Hard is What Makes it Great (arayofsun.wordpress.com)
- Classic Movie Review ( A League of Their Own) (misteranderson21.wordpress.com)
- R.I.P. Lavonne “Pepper” Paire-Davis, Inspiration for Dottie in A League of Their Own (eyeoncelebs.com)
- Kallet: Breaking Down The 5 Greatest Baseball Movies Of All-Time (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- ‘Pepper’ Paire Davis: In a League of Her Own (aarp.org)
March 13, 2013 at 11:47 pm
Great post. You’ll look back in 20 years and know, hard or not, this time is the best time of your life. “Hard” is what you’ll savor in the coming years. You do yourself proud Ms. Rachel.
March 18, 2013 at 6:08 pm
I can almost hear you tell your team: “There’s no crying in volleyball!”