Duggan’s hockey career came to an abrupt end in the third period of his first real game. With the score 11-3 for the opposing team, Duggan found himself with the puck in the perfect shooting position. He wound up and swung. He missed the puck but knocked out his teammate on the followthrough. Duggan flailed his stick backwards and hit another skater in the head. By this point he lost his balance and fell head first onto the ice. All three kids suffered concussions.Duggan didn’t fare any better in other sports. The year he played baseball he batted 0 for 76 with 75 strikeouts. His lone walk came only after his coach threatened him not to swing at any more pitches. When he was twelve Duggan broke his jaw trying to bounce a basketball. At fourteen he attempted volleyball. He broke his jaw again attempting a dig. Duggan didn’t eat solid food for four straight years. In a desperate attempt to discover his son’s inspiration, Stewart enrolled Duggan in horseback riding. Duggan was sixteen. In his second lesson Duggan fought to keep control of his horse Montana. Duggan pulled the reigns only to be pulled forward when Montana dropped her head. Duggan pulled harder. Montana dropped her head and abruptly halted. Duggan flipped like a windmill over her head and landed hard in the dust. Stewart sighed, fearing another disaster. To his amazement, Duggan dusted himself off and mounted his horse. Stewart choked up. He hoped that maybe, after all these years, Duggan developed courage and perseverance. On the drive Stewart could barely contain his pride. “That was quite a spill you had,” said Stewart. “Yeah,” said Duggan, staring out the car window. “And the way you got back on that horse, wow.” “Yeah.” “I mean, you didn’t hesitate or anything. You just got right back up there,” said Stewart. Duggan looked at his dad. “What else was I supposed to do?” “Well, you didn’t go back to all the other sports you tried. You just gave up on those,” said Stewart. “This is diff’rent.” “How?” Duggan’s face reddened. “Dad, at the stable, haven’t you noticed I’m the only boy? I can’t let the girls think I’m a wimp.” Stewart grinned. It took some time, but Duggan found his inspiration.
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