There was a girl I had the pleasure to watch play soccer since she was around 13 years old. She was on my daughter’s team, but everyone who pays attention to Soccer in New England knew of her. She was the one we planned to cheer in the Olympics someday. She was also the one who always lifted her teammates up when they were down and brought energy to the field without exception. She was the one who enjoyed life as much as anyone I think I’ve ever seen. But she is the one whose life ended this month. She is the one that my entire town mourned last Friday and still.
I am writing about Ash Baird here in the Jobcase community not to share sorrow about a life cut short but to share inspiration about a life well lived. A couple thoughts from the celebration of her life are worth amplifying. I’ll narrow them to two.
• “Ash didn’t know her life would be so short, but somehow she lived everyday as if she did.” That statement really hit me. Its authentic and real about her. It’s instructive for us. All of us are here but temporarily. How sad to not wake up and find joy – better yet, give joy as Ash did – with every day. Don’t let yourself accept less. Take a moment this weekend for self-reflection. Are you happy? Are you enjoying life? If so – awesome! Be sure to share that with others, as Ash did. It’s contagious. If not, chart a course that will get you to a place that you say yes. You deserve it. You do!
• “Ash walked slow but ran fast”. Never saw someone faster with a ball on the field. But her friends and family talk of how slow she walked everywhere else. She was enjoying life. Stop to smell the roses? Just walk slow enough and smell all the flowers along the way. Yes, there are times to hit the gas, put your blinders on, get stuff done. But make sure to carve out the times to look around, enjoy the moment, enjoy friend’s family and earth. You deserve it. You do!
Ash Baird led an inspiring, albeit tragically short, life. She probably just knew me as “Olivia’s Dad”. But I was inspired by her, impacted by her, and will remember her forever. Here’s the vision I was blessed to witness countless times – I’ll end by sharing this with you:
16-year-old Ash gets the ball just shy of midfield. Defenders adjust. She toe taps a couple times, then gets the look, then charges right at them – not around. The ball magnetically hovers about 12-36 inches away from her cleat at any time. She fakes around the first and second, she pulls full Maradona move around the 3rd, the opponent Goalie begins screaming for everyone to come back to help, Ash’s team sprinting to keep up and get in position, Ash dodges around the 4th, one last player strives to catch up but can’t get between Ash and the goal, and just as Ash has the perfect chance to shoot – she pulls a perfect Cruyff pass to her teammate 5 yards away and smiles as her teammate gets the Glory for the goal. I saw this countless time. I see it every time I think of Ash. Joy, Excellence, Competitive, Sharing, Love, Compassion, Sportsmanship, Ash.
She inspires me to live a better life. Perhaps a few people reading this will be inspired by her too. I hope so. You deserve it. You do!
It was once said that, "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart" and remembered."
The key here is to amplify "Not About A Life Cut Short, but About A Life Well Lived". I have also come to believe that living is not for us about how long we live but measured by the impact we leave behind, and what we do with our time here!
I too have a story about someone of the same type of substance that left this world at the age of 16 but oh what a life she lived. Our church service has so many people attending from all walks of life, etc. the crowd circled the block, so many came to a tribute to her life, I could hardly believe she could have touched so many at such a young age. These type of young women and young men such as Ashley and others can only serve as Inspiration for us all. "LIVE LIFE TO ITS FULLEST".
What an inspirational story. I always tell the kids live it up like its your last time. Not to depress them, just to make sure they get every joy out of life.
Wow, great share! Not only can we add joy to our own life but like Ash, living our fullest life can help others. We never know what impact we have on others.
Over 400 likes, through this post Ash is still impacting the world! I know I'm open to taking a closer look at my time after reading this. #walk-slow-run-fast
So sad to hear about a life cut short, but inspiring to hear about how many lives Ash touched by being such a joy to those she knew and loved. Thanks for sharing Ash's story with the community, Fred.
Thanks for sharing. What a wonderful story and an inspirational to us all! It reminds me of my youth soccer days, which I cherish for many reasons but most importantly the lessons learned on and off the fields from my teammates. The one thing I know for sure is that her teammates will always remember her and the greatness she brought to them.
It's such a great story that presents a sad ending to a inspirational soul gone forever. She will have these memories and various elements of her life to keep her company, and people to remind her that she was important.
Now that's in her white forest, she can be truly be F R E E. #RIP
Side Note: I love the "walk slow, run fast" analogy. I think many of us do this often that we forget to put ourselves first when we need to.
Thanks for sharing!
Inspired... I am!