Ability Chases Courage

Erik Cooper —  August 14, 2013 — 2 Comments

You want to do what?

I was one part perplexed and two parts elated when my 14 year old daughter told me she wanted to join her high school golf team.

You see, I was way too timid for football, cut from my Jr. High basketball squad, and (thankfully) talked out of dawning a wrestling singlet (for way more than one reason). Golf was my one and only sporting claim to fame. I was a varsity member of the 1992 State Champion Ben Davis Giants! My picture still hangs in a back hallway of the high school just outside the practice gym.

So the thought of my oldest offspring following in my footsteps was exhilarating! Where do we sign up!?

The only problem? She’d never played as much as one hole of golf in her life (unless you count pirate islands, manufactured waterfalls, or putting it through the clown’s mouth). And with only 5 girls on the team, she would be varsity by default!

In case you’re unaware, golf isn’t a game you exactly master after your first few times out. And yet somehow my girl’s first competitive tournament also turned out to be her second time (ever) on an actual course. That’s crazy! Or is it something else?

It never fails, my kids continue to teach their old man some incredible life lessons.


How often do we wait to perfect our skills before we “get in the game?”

Jumping into a competitive sport with little-to-no experience is completely terrifying. But life usually won’t let us wait until we’re 100% ready. Until we have all the facts. Until we know all the lingo. Life isn’t ideal like that. 

And while I’m in no way suggesting you perform surgery or pilot my airplane without the proper training, I also think way too many of us pass up incredible opportunities hiding behind “I’m not ready yet.”

Start a business.

Compose a song.

Birth a ministry.

Reach out to a neighbor.

Create some art.

Form a non-profit.

Write a book.

Join the high school golf team.

I’m so proud of my daughter. Her game isn’t superb (yet), but she’s out there. Playing. Wrestling. Struggling. Learning. Competing. How many of us can say that?

The best education might just come after we’re already in the arena. Our biggest obstacle usually isn’t knowledge, it’s fear. But ability chases courage.

Is there something you need to start now? Before you feel ready?

2 responses to Ability Chases Courage

  1. Erik,
    This post is extremely well-timed for us, as we both feel completely overwhelmed in our new place and positions! Thank you for sharing this truth with us. It is something we will cling to as we move forward!


    • You guys are going to do great Sarah! One day at a time. You’re both more than talented enough to do what’s being asked of you. It’s time for you to believe that, too.

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