I barely noticed the intensity of my heart rate as I sat huddled with my team, desperately aware that we had to do something. While they were looking into the sun, they had a distinct advantage in size and experience. My skin no long felt the bite of the harsh winter wind, long ago being numbed by the adrenaline of the game. Mud caked both of my knees, my right shoulder and the majority of the people on the field. The exhaustion was apparent on the faces of those who hadn't exercised in quite some time... in other words, everybody.
We had just scored, putting a small dent in our fourteen touchdown deficit, but we were determined that things were about to turn around. It was time to unleash our secret weapon. I kept my instructions simple, to match the attention span of our weapon: run down the field and bite the ankles of anyone with the ball. Before I could even release the ball, 4'3", 90 pound, 10 year old Rosie went barreling down the short forty yard field directly towards anyone and anything that might touch the football. As the ball hit the hands of my friend Steven (160 pounds, 20 years old) Rosie collided with Steven, knocking the ball loose causing a fumble in the end zone. A ten year old girl named Rosie single-handedly dismantled a return team of grown men and despite losing by over 20 touchdowns (we stopped keeping track, thank the Lord), this moment became everyone's highlight.
After spending a week in Washington D.C. surrounded by people in suits with strict schedules who seemingly forgot what a smile was, this secret mission disguised as a spontaneous backyard football game is exactly what I needed. When I got to the Walsh house I expected to sit around on the couch waiting for dinner to be cooked, eat dinner and leave. I am so thankful the Walsh family did not let that happen.
Everyday should be a secret mission. In other words, never be too busy to watch a little girl tackle a grown man.