Nicknamed Freight Train

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Bonnie and I with Coach Howard

Nicknamed Freight Train way back in high school because I used to go wide-opened full throttle on the basketball court often times unaware of the damage a freight train can do. Freight Train is the name my coach used that would make my face turn red and make me want to hide under the bleachers when yet another unnecessary foul turned the tally to 5 automatically benching me.

Nicknamed Freight Train back in high school because I thought I was bigger than I was and had relentless courage. Foul to stop the clock–no problem. Guard a girl a foot taller than I–no problem. Take a charge and fall on the hard floor–no problem.

My freight train name is something I never really thought about in my life until a few weeks ago when I learned that my coach would be at my 30 year reunion. And then, I thought of what a freight train I have been in life: impulsive, aggressive, willful, and reckless. I thought of how I could have curbed my freight train attitude and had fewer problems. I tried to make meaning of how I could have shied from my nickname.

After a moment of aggressive play, Coach Howard used to tell me I should blow my whistle to offer up a warning. Driving home after the reunion I thought about those words and refined my thoughts about my freight train life. Being a full on freight train is not the problem. In fact, that relentless and passionate  pursuit makes me a powerful force. The whistle is the key. The whistle is the warning, “Ready or not, here I come! Be prepared.”

Yes, on one hand being a freight train could mean a foul and could cost the team points and in life cost me points. On the other hand, though, being a freight train can mean a courageous full on  forward pursuit as a teacher, friend, mom, daughter, sister, wife, etc.

I am a Freight Train. There is no denying it. There is no taming it. I’ll let you know when I am coming. I’ll blow the whistle as a warning.

Sometimes I will stop and refuel. I’ll give myself a rest, and I’ll give you a rest, too.

I am who I am–there is no denying it. My power is undeniable. Now I realize that  I must wield this power carefully. It is most effective when well-executed.

Perhaps I should look at the railway map, chart my course, plan my trip, blow my whistle, and forge forward.

Nicknamed Freight Train back in high school–I will no longer look down if I hear that name. Power and passion well-executed–an undeniable force when on the right course.

Using my powers well and using my powers for good–yes, that is the answer. Listen for my whistle! Here I come!

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7 thoughts on “Nicknamed Freight Train

  1. You go girl! I have seen you fight that freight train over the years and now you are seeing it for the strength it is and focusing on making it stronger with recognition of its power and the power of control. Great post!!

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  2. I think it’s all about refining and building on what’s good as well as what’s central to my being. And yes, derailing can be bad, especially as a freight train. Thank you.

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  3. I think I needed to deconstruct to reconstruct. And I needed to step outside myself. Now, Mary Ellen, I think it’s a process of defining, refining, and redefining–these are good things. Perhaps it’s just the sign of the times…sort of reminiscent of my late 30s–the next decade will be here before I know it, and here I am introspecting, looking back, and moving forward. Thanks for your words and support. We should get together soon.

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