What Is Your Red Rubber Ball?




I just finished reading Kevin Carroll’s Rules of the Red Rubber Ball and it made such a tremendous impact on me that I had to write about it.  See, I believe I only recently discovered my red rubber ball.  In short, a person’s red rubber ball is their passion.  It’s the thing you do when no one is around, or when you have free time.  It’s the interest that liberates you to do amazing things you had only dreamed of before.

Kevin’s book took me from laughter to tears and back again.  I am still thinking about his book over 24 hours since I completed it.  I had never thought of my red rubber ball in such a way until reading the book.  I didn’t necessarily discover my red rubber ball at an early age.  In fact, as a young boy, my passions were very much like Kevin’s as I played nearly every sport available to me.  I remember putting on a snowsuit and gloves to go outside and shoot baskets on the hoop in my driveway.  It was as if nothing could keep me from playing with my red rubber ball; key word being playing.  Once you discover your red rubber ball, it becomes difficult for one to distinguish the difference between work and play.

My red rubber ball is my passion.  It is the item that consumes my free time.  When I go to work every morning, I’m pursuing my red rubber ball.  I don’t say that lightly as I am extremely thankful that my life’s circumstances, and not the least, my Savior, have put me in a position where I get to pursue my red rubber ball every day I walk into my school.  Since connecting to other educators who share my passion, my red rubber ball has appeared.  I have an intense desire to become the best educator I can possibly become.  I have certainly been met with obstacles and set backs.  Others have attempted to let their negativity bring me down.  Pursuing my red rubber ball has not been easy.  My wall and my fortress that protects me and my ball is my professional learning network.  At the risk of climbing out on a thin limb here, I would imagine that most of my PLN share the same passion that I do.  It’s not that we’re a fanatic or one to be shunned by the rest of our colleagues.  It’s not that we look down on others who’s red rubber ball bounces in a different direction.  We just find ourselves pursuing this unique passion with any time we can set apart from our busy lives.  I encourage you to find your red rubber ball and pursue it relentlessly and see where it takes you.  For me, it has opened up doors I never dreamed of before.  I hope it continues to open more.  I do invest a lot of time, energy, passion, and fight into my red rubber ball.  However, I’d bet that you invest those same things into something.  And if not, then consider discovering your red rubber ball.  Be creative about how you pursue it.  Technology has opened up many creative ways for me to pursue my passion while still being a husband and a dad.  Last but not least, surround yourselves at every opportunity with others who will support and possibly share in your pursuit.

2 thoughts on “What Is Your Red Rubber Ball?

  1. Derek,
    Keep our Savior first and your RRB will just keep on bouncing and bouncing. And Kudos for putting passion and fight in the same sentence! Teach on, Derek Oldfield!

  2. Awesome post! It’s a great feeling to get to pursue our passion every day and even better to share this passion with amazing educators. I hope you have a great school year!

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