Keep A Little Fire Burning

Dreams are fragile at first. Protect them as you would a freshly kindled fire. Feed them until they are unquenchable.

“Keep a little fire burning; however small, however hidden.” — Cormac McCarthy

I started coaching field hockey four years ago.

I never played the game in my youth. Even today, it’s primarily a woman’s sport in the United States. I played roller hockey in high school, a sport similar to indoor field hockey.

When my daughter decided to play field hockey in high school, I recognized an opportunity to coach her in skills, strategy and mindset. I brushed up on the game and even got certified by USA Field Hockey. My roller hockey skills translated well.

My daughter played year round, and I was there with her every step of the way. The more I helped her, the more she inspired me. I learned through her what it meant to be an effective coach. The coaching fire was kindled.

An assistant coaching opportunity opened up her senior year. I jumped at the chance and got the job. I was still working as a technology executive, but I made it work. I kept the fire burning, and it grew a little stronger.

My daughter earned first team all district honors that year and ended her field hockey journey on a high note. I continued coaching at her high school, more inspired than ever to help other young women in the game and in life. The coaching fire grew even stronger.

I helped build the program into a regional power house. The team earned a birth in the state tournament for the first time in school history, and I earned a head coaching position at a brand new school. The coaching fire was now unquenchable.

What started as a desire to help my daughter grew into a passion. That passion, and the persistence that fed it, rewarded me with opportunity. I kept the little fire burning. I protected it. I fed it a little each day.

Keep your little fire burning too, and one day it will be unquenchable.

What started for you as a desire to help someone and grew into something you enjoyed? How did you keep the little fire burning?