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Surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost an arm after a shark attack, surfs during the Fiji Womens Pro earlier this year. Photo: dailytelegraph.com

Will. Determination. Force of character. Chutzpah. Courage. Daring. And we could probably think of several other similar synonyms, yes? But don’t ya just love “moxie?” I mean, as a word. It’s one of those words that are somehow just…easy to hear.

Pembrokeshire sea cliff climbing. Photo: climbpembroke.com
Pembrokeshire sea cliff climbing. Photo: climbpembroke.com

As a concept, don’t we also just love “moxie?” I mean, c’mon. We do. Well, at the very least, we admire moxie – when people show moxie, or have moxie. Yes – let’s be real. As humans, we love to see moxie on display. Why? Well, I submit that, at least in part we love to see moxie –because it gives us hope. Life is hard, right. But moxie makes it better. We admire moxie too, because we are hopeful that we have all the moxie we need, somewhere down the road, whenever we need it.

Youth softball player. Photo: nays.org
Youth softball player. Photo: nays.org

And so right there is another great reason why we so enjoy recreation and sports – because recreation and sports give us a chance. The chance – to show courage, a call – to rise to a challenge, a willing desire – to demonstrate moxie. Playing games is one thing – but the thrill of showing moxie? – that’s on a “whole notha level.” And when we get right down to it – moxie is fuel for the soul.

By Dr. Rodney J. Blackman

Dr. Blackman is the Chair of Recreation Management at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at rblackman@ussa.edu.

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