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Sports shape lives in different ways

Published: Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 10:55 a.m. CDT

Sports are among what shapes our lives. Yes, even for those people who don’t care or like sports. You’ve made that decision so it shaped your life.

For me, my parents were active when I was growing up. Everybody knew my father was a former college wrestler. Not many knew my mother was a competitive swimmer early on, along with playing 6-on-6 basketball in junior college and was a very good bowler.

My parents enjoyed being outdoors. They both were Kansas State graduates and took pride in all the Wildcat athletics — yes, even football when it wasn’t good.

We lived in Kansas City, Kan., until I was 5. We moved to a small rural community between Kansas City and Lawrence. Most of the time we listened to sports on the radio. We’d watch all types of sports on television, from the Olympics to college and profession football, baseball, professional bowling (Mom’s favorite), and shows like ABC’s “Wide World of Sports.”

We’d have the Royals on the radio while we would be outside playing ball in the front yard. We’d toss a football around before the bus arrived to take us to school in the fall.

My parents encouraged us to be involved in athletics, although there weren’t that many opportunities for girls in the late 1960s and early 1970s at my school.

I did play softball during the summer with a team my father put together so I’d have something to do. We had fun.

Participating in sports provides life lessons. You develop discipline. Getting up early in the morning to beat the heat for summer softball practice was never one of my favorite things, but we did it. You find the discipline to be there for your teammates just like you will have to have the discipline to go to work each day  as an adult.

My take on participating and covering sports from T-ball to high school sports is, enjoy yourself. Yes, it is hard work and dedication, but as we grow individually, we grow together with lifelong relationships.

We all want to win competitions. Losing hurts if you care about what you are doing and your teammates. But, you dust yourself off and go again, as my parents taught us when we’d fall.

As we grow up we develop our favorites among college and profession al sports. I couldn’t leave you this week without a little bit bragging and pride in the Kansas City Royals.

The Royals have a better record than the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees — in August no less. The Royals are atop the American League Central Division. I don’t know if they will stay there or not, but I have to bask in this right now. Not since the 1985 World Series.

After their first run to the top of the division back in June, they had a swoon. The Royals won 10 in a row, then lost, and lost, and lost. It wasn’t looking good after the All-Star break either.

They had won eight in a row on this recent run to the top. Kansas City lost, then came back and won the next day. I am looking for a run to the playoffs by my guys in Blue.

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