Friday, August 15, 2014

Random Rant on Coaching

Fall is definitely feeling here, which means my annual mood has arrived as well.  The mood... Not sure what it's called. I'm a little nit-picky, my standards are on alert, and I'm pretty quick to address any and all areas of concern and attempt to do so, again w high standards.  I hope this doesn't read all "uppity," but I think it's something we all need to do, address our standards, assess ourselves, and raise our standards.  If we're not sticking to a core set of beliefs, of rights and wrongs with the intent to help and better people... What are we doing?

(Sidenote: I've been without internet for a couple days, thank you Time Warner for the excellent service, so I'm writing this on my iPhone.  Please excuse any typos or incorrect autocorrects that slip by).

1) I'm not very confident the best coaching candidates are teachers anymore.  At one time, yes, but not now.  I think there are too many angles, too much politics.  A coach can't be honest and complete if he's worrying about being undermined by the principle or another member of the faculty and unfortunately, it happens much more than you know.  I was part of a staff once that needed a serious overhaul in their strength & conditioning department. So I volunteered to run the off-season... For free.  The "staff," decided they had to go w the guy the school hired, who had zero lifting/training experience and recvd his cert at a weekend seminar, but in going a him "it would create less waves."  Was a decision made there to benefit the kids and the team?  Or to appease the AD and the board?
If a school wants to have good coaches, they need to have a better interview process, better pay and then observe from a distance.  Once the trust is there, step away and let the coach, coach.  I've worked w too many coaches who made decisions based on a conversation they thought they would have if they decided "x," over "y."

2) The role of the coach is very, very underrated.  I think it's most effective when there's some distance, to follow up my above point.  The kids already deal w family and teachers, those avenues are covered.  When the kids have another route, an alternate method of communication and expression, in an actual arena they enjoy (athletics), the opportunity for truth and expression thrive and blossom.  Many, many times I've know I was in the middle of a talk that just didn't happen anywhere else.  On the field w the guys, there's an honesty, a genuine innocence that is often lost in the chaos of their usual adolescent lives.  Being an open and honest communicator can change lives.

3) Too many coaches/parents/teachers are too worried about being cool.  They want to be the cool teacher, the cool mom, the cool coach that the kids can swear in front of and talk trash about othe adults and be disrespectful.   
The level of professionalism has fallen off greatly over the last 20 years.  The things I've heard coaches say, my coaches never would've said, or at least not out loud or in front of us.  There's no place in sports for an adult coach to unnecessary profanity. Yes, there may be a moment where a very timely "bullshit," can help strike a point home, but this language should never be used as common communication.

4) Coaches love to preach about standards but few challenge themselves to raise their own.  I never understood coaches who preach living a healthy life while walking around 150lbs over weight.  I completely understand the issues involved and the struggles we go through, remember what I do for a living, I'm just saying this person shouldn't be the one running conditioning drills or making decisions for pregame dinner. 

5) A lot of coaches, coach with their "dad," on their shoulder or someone in their ear... Stop worrying about pleasing someone else and develop your own voice.  Don't be an imitation.  Be you.  If you succeed while perfecting your imitation... Will there be any satisfaction in that?
Trust me, I went through this.  My first years, I was a mix of myself w a good dose of my coach and it took me a long time to just become ME.  Sometimes I'm right, sometimes I'm wrong, but it's me and I'd rather be wrong being myself than right being someone else. 

6) Dont be afraid to ask for help.  If you're in over your head, get help.  If you can't do the job, there's no shame in removing yourself or stepping back.  Again, this is a very valuable position, often w the responsibility of helping raise 10-100 young men and women, it's not your hobby, it's a profession. 

7) Don't encourage or promote macho, alpha dog bullshit.  Encourage empathy.  It's greatly missing in sports and in schools.  Your team, under your guidance can have a positive impact on the entire school and community.  Do it.  Make an impact.  

8) Knowing a sport well doesn't make you a coach.  Being great at screaming from the stands doesn't either.  You have to care for the welfare of kids and their future, not necessarily who they are now but who they'll be down the road.  If you have a great player, but his grades are aweful or he/she's in trouble off of the field/court, and you ignore that, you're not doing your job.   
Too many guys/gals are in the position to fulfill their own ego and not really doing the job.  In most cases I'd say "that's ok, you have to have the bad w the good," but not here.  The job is too important, I said at the top that's undervalued.  I know A LOT of people, I've read about 1000's of people that wouldn't be where they are without their coach stepping in off the field.
(To be honest, that's the spark that's lit my ass up recently.  I'm reading a book about a coach I forgot about... A coach I wrote off too soon... A guy that changed millions of lives, millions... Across the world, literally.  I'll write on this later).

9) It's not your hobby, it's your profession.  Don't just do it for the extra $3500. Don't just do it because you think it's cool.  Do it because your good, do it because you can reach kids and having value to offer.  It's not about X's and O's, it's not about wins and losses and playoffs, it's all about the kids.  It's about teaching life lessons while using these sports as our analogies. 
Both in coaching linebackers and training in the weight room, it's all about finding those parallels where i can draw lines between the now and how this will come into play in 5, 10, 2( years from now.  We talk about effort, finishing drills, paying attention the details, having passion and enthusiam, being a great teammate, being a great student, and having goals and vision.  Imagine how powerful this young student-athlete will be if they're mindful and practicing that above list...
Effort, finish the drill, attention to detail, passion and enthusiasm, great teammate, great student, goal driven.  That looks to me like the blue print for an awesome husband/wife, mother/father, business owner/employee, student/athlete.  
What I'm saying is, if all your time is wrapped up in coaching your starters to get that W and you forget all those moments with your entire team (ya coach, you need to coach the kids that aren't so good as well), then you're doing the school and the community a disservice.  
I've always looked at every coaching job as though I work for the families, the school and the city, because even though the paycheck comes from the board, the results of my efforts with the kids will effect everything they encounter now and in the future. 

Coach with:
Coach like it's your kid, your brother or sister.  Coach like your talking to yourself.  Teach them everything they'll need to know to be a successful, respectful member of this world.  
I have two daughters and I think "I'm effecting people that will encounter my daughters one day..." Think about that.  You're coaching kids that will deal w your kids or your mom or sister... What kind of impact are you having?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

15 minutes of the first random thoughts while I wait for Chinese take out on a Thursday

Amy's probably only person that gets the joke of that title....

I've been through, taken myself through some experiences that have resulted in a really awesome outlook... I don't see much or maybe anything, as competition.   And actually, when I feel someone attempting to compete, I kinda feel bad for them.  And I don't mean it in an athletic arena but more in a "I'm smarter than you, I'm bigger than you, I'm more successful than you," kinda way.  I see guys that want to puff up their chest/wallet/ego... And I feel bad....

I see a lot of struggle and depression right now... Nearly every world I touch, it's right there.... So I'm working to offset it by addressing it and maneuvering through it, helping them maneuver through it, as best possible.   
Sometimes, depression can be too big to truly grasp... It can feel like a heavy blanket that covers over your eyes, your arms, it's on your back pushing your head down... Nothing feels right.  I know because I've been there and never really knew where the exit was... You just luckily find your way out or wait for the storm to pass... I don't know... I'm not a psych major, that's just how it feels.  It helps knowing you have friends... People that are on your team and support you.  
When you see a guy in a wheel chair, you don't say "hey man, just get up!"  So when you see a guy down, really down... Depressed... You can't say "just get up..." It doesn't work like that.

I don't think people are nice enough to each other... Nice just to be nice... A lot of people are carrying around their mood and their shit and we all overlap each other... Our energies overlap. If you're lucky, your good energy overlaps w someone else's.  

Sometimes I wonder "your instincts really pushed you to behave like an asshole?" because that's really weird.  

But often, it feels like I was born in the wrong place or wrong era... (@ home behind the sun, get it?)I don't understand the craziness.  We have a president launching robotic bombs at huts where a phone ping refistErs in some computer 1,000,000 miles away.  Pop music sucks.  Great artists are so rare.  Thinking of Robin Williams has made me tear up all week... 
We're not connected enough.  This system has us chasing money... Working too many hours... Our eyes are all over the place... We're loaded w schedules and anxiety...

This new book written by Jay a Paterno is so sad... What a story.  The media and Freeh really, really f'd up big and karma's a bitch.  

I like to think my training sessions are your one hour of mental vacation. 

And now my egg foo young is ready :)
Peace, love and empathy...
(Get it?)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

One Token

I was in the weight room today and things are going really well because of some new stretches that are really helping out my hips/back.  My squat is really picking up, which is something thats bothered me forever.  Because of back pain, I've been real shy about really attacking this movement but like I said, these stretches... Anyway, I was there and in the rack and some music came on that flipped a switch... eyes red... goose bumps.. and zero trouble squatting a weight heavier than anything I've attempted in 5 years...  And I think it'll make sense by the time you finish (but first check out the song)

So I started day dreaming again about that thought from the last blog and wanted to draw a picture...

Imagine you're playing a game...
No, not one of these..
One of these.
Yes, that is used as a video game system.

So you're playing this game and in the game, you control when your character wakes up and goes to sleep.  You control what they eat and when.  You control who they communicate with and how, you control relationships, the car they drive, where they work and how they dress.  It's like the Sims.  But in this game you also get to feel what they feel.  If you bump into a table, you feel that pain.  If it's cold in the game, you feel the chill.
You also get to feel their emotions of the situations and don't forget, you're still in control of the character, so just because your video game character has something go wrong, you're still playing.  You need to control the character.
Sound like a game you'd like to play?  Think about all you could experience.  All the places you could see... everywhere you could go and the experience is real.  You get do anything, you get to feel everything, you are free.
Obviously, there are rules to the game, so you cant just hop on a flight to experience Hawaii without paying 500 gold coins which means you need to do things to earn those gold coins.

See how this game goes?  Its your game to play and you're the only one in control of your character.
Want your character to have an awesome life?  Make it happen.
Want your character to have an awesome body?  Make it happen.
Want your character to have an awesome career?  Make it happen.
Want your character to have awesome friendships?  Make it happen
Do you want your "character," to play the guitar?  Make it happen.
Do you want your "character," to run a marathon?  Make it happen.  It's your character, you're in control.
Do you want your "character," to have an awesome house?
To drive your dream car?
To feel everything?
To have a full life of experiences?
Make it happen.
You're already playing the game right now... and dont forget, you only get one token.  There are no reset buttons... no "Start Over," and no cheat codes (well, unless you have a few million gold coins).
It's 100% your character to control 24/7 until the clock runs out.

So I heard a story about a friend who's clock is winding down... and it bothers me, obviously... more than I'll show... but it just brings it all into perspective and intensifies this "game," that much more.  It's never until a friend "stops playing," that we pause and adjust our "strategies," and how we play.
Winning doesn't mean $15,000,000, (oops, I meant gold coins) and losing doesn't mean minimum wage.
Winning isn't the Porsche and losing isn't a shitty raise when you deserve much more.
But we actually don't know how to win.. and I just laughed typing that, because that's the fun.  My "gold coins" aren't green dollars or checks... mine are moments.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Atmosphere/Game On

...the irony that it's taken me over 2 weeks to right this.

I posted -
(Not a dig at any other training facility.). 
I've never trained (myself or clients) in a facility as full or as complete as Everybodies Gym in Chardon. The people, the equipment, lay out, set up, and ATMOSPHERE is bar none the most motivational and inspiring situation I've ever been a part of. People tell me alllll damn day "I train here," "I do this at home," and it's all good, but I'm telling you, the ATMOSPHERE here is contagious, you can't stop yourself from going hard in here.
Truth, no matter happens during the day, I walk in here, the owner cranks the music, the gym starts to get moving and the place goes off. If you're within a 25-30 minute drive of Chardon, you need to be here."
And that thought has been surrounding me for a while, how important atmosphere is.  There are gyms and fitness centers all over the country.  Some are great, some are average, some are lacking.
The post/thread went on -
"Atmosphere is everything. A million gyms have similar equipment and all the above... But there's an intangible, an "x," factor that's hard to define. The IT, that this gym definitely has plenty of." 
Of what?  Whats the "x" factor?

As always, there's a common line bringing together the fitness world with our careers/jobs and home, so I started thinking about atmosphere across the board.
In the gym, there's an atmosphere that can be intense but relaxing at the same time, I think that might be what I feel at my gym.  It motivates you to work hard, really hard, and also to stay and work longer.  I've been in gyms where I just wanted to get in, get my work done and get out as fast as possible.  I did not enjoy being in these gyms.  So one thing I can see is the actual space... it helps create this particular atmosphere... we aren't all on top of each other, waiting in line for equipment or bumping into each other.  There's plenty of equipment and more than enough useful, functional space.

We all have (or hopefully have) a job or career going and atmosphere is cruuuucial, because we spend so much time there, most of us 40+ hours per week.  We're there with coworkers, we're performing our "task," following guidelines and procedures, etc.  We're eating meals there, we might be changing clothes there and we usually develop friends there.  So this is basically home #2, which means how we feel while we're there is everything.
An employer may say "Well, you get a pay check!  Don't ya?  The place is clean enough!  Isn't it?" and that could be true... but is it enough?  (If I ask "Is this enough?" or "Is that good enough?" I'm setting you up.)  Is getting a pay check enough?  For me, I see it as why be a 6 when you have the potential to be a 9 or a 10?  Why sand bag it?  Why be "just good enough?"  Why not strive to be great?
Again, I think atmosphere is a little abstract and open to interpretation.    But I also believe there are a few enormous common traits we share as human beings that ties into the last scenario.


Like the gym, the work place and home, we want to feel like we belong... we want to feel like we can grow and be ourselves... We want to feel comfortable (but not lazy).... We want freedom to grow, but at the same time, we do enjoy some structure.  We need schedules, we need a certain set of procedures, because without these procedures and rules and such, we wouldn't have a drive to push them... to expand and grow and evolve into new procedures, create new and improved rules.

I see it, us, as plants... and our atmosphere matches.  As a plant, there are things we need to grow and become strong, healthy and maximize our true potential.  If you plant your garden in the shade and never water it, never care for the dirt, if you don't protect it, your plants will fail and die.  You may get lucky and pull a few tomatoes, but you'll never reap the benefits you could have had you planted that same garden in the sunshine and watered it, put a fence up around it to protect it from animals, cared for the dirt so the plants had a strong foundation to reach down with their roots and find home.  The plants need clean, fresh air, not contaminated, polluted, toxic debris.
Same goes for us.  We need to be in environments that allow us to grow, that want us to grow, to evolve into the best possible human we can become.

For me, I like to think that's one reason why people enjoy training with me and working with me.  I'm always ready and looking for the opportunity to take us one step further down the path of development.  Doesn't matter if i'm talking to someone about going back to school, or entering a fitness competition or making even larger life choices.
Sometimes all we need is knowing someone has our back... that could be all the atmosphere we need.

Along those lines but totally different... something to think about.

I was listening to a podcast with two of my favorite podcasters, Duncan Trussell (comedian) and Aubrey Marcus (Owner of Onnit).  They were going back and forth on philosophical ideas as to what were all actually doing here... whats the goal... whats the plan... etc.
One said something like "What if this is all a game?  What if our real self is off somewhere playing this thing we're calling LIFE?  This game cost x amount of dollars are we're actually sitting in a game room... playing these characters."
They went on and eventually said "Who the F would choose to waste their game tokens watching the Kardashians?"
So on my drive home through beautiful Geauga County, I thought about that... Lets day dream for a second and think about decisions we've made, habits we have, things we currently do, and then what our plans are... If this were a game, would any of it change?
If's about control.  Its about not feeling like a slave, no?  Slave to debt, slave to money and again... freedom.   Because control would mean, absolute control of time and absolute control of time would mean we choose how and when we do what we do, the value on it.  
It would also mean control over every thought and action.  Our habits aren't really, real habits.  They're decisions that trigger "happy," chemicals, right?  We have a habit that makes us happy but we don't always know why... maybe a food or a show or a different drug, because actually food and television and anything that stimulates your brain to release particular chemicals (some of which are also found in certain plants, but are for some reason illegal) is a drug.  Crazy?

Jeez, thats off topic... point is, if this were a game... would you be playing it differently?
I had a friend who was obsessed with running off to do yoga alone in some mountain... I always thought how much he'd be missing out on.  Would he find happiness?  Maybe.  Would he be maximizing this experience?  No.
Aubrey and Duncan ended it joking about the monks saying something like "They think they're finding the meaning of life and nirvana by meditating all those hours... then the game ends and everyone back home mocks that thats how they used their game tokens... sitting in one room, breathing their life away, never really living... never getting the full gaming experience."

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Fan of Greatness

"Bleh, if I hear or see another thing about LeBron James, I'm goign to puke!"

Well get the bucket ready, because here are the multiple angles you should be paying attention to.
Friday afternoon, the big announcement came.  We all saw it, heard it, heard about it, heard rumors of how it all went down, and eventually read his letter (if you didn't you absolutely should, right HERE).
Everyone immediately took to Facebook and Twitter to celebrate and post how awesome the news was!  I was at work with my friends and we all said "Downtown is going nuts!  Happy hour is going to be crazy!"
Why?  Because it IS that awesome.  Its actually underrated.
Then as the day rolled along, the haters came out... bleh.  I saw posts that read "People are dying in Africa and everyone is giving a crap about a basketball player!  Get a life!" and "Who cares?  He
just dribbles a ball!  He doesn't save lives!"
You sad little haters are so wrapped up in depressing lives, you cant see the greatness in this, so I have some questions for you.

A) Are you a fan of area businesses increasing revenue?
B) Are you a fan of seeing local servers and parking attendants making more money?
C) Are you a fan of seeing people wanting to move their business downtown again?
D) Do you have any clue how much money playoff basketball or a championship contending team will do for the downtown economy?
E) Do you know how many more jobs this creates?
F) Are you a fan of seeing people happy?
G) Are you a fan of greatness?

For me personally, WINTER SUCKS IN NE OHIO!!!! BAD.
Why?  Because our teams suck!  Flat out.  I can deal with the snow, I can deal with crappy roads, but knowing your team loses way more games than it wins just sucks.  When the Browns suck on Sunday, Monday sucks... and Tuesday.  And then you look ahead to Sunday and get depressed because you know, theyre probably going to suck again!  And then you're stuck with 17 weeks of mostly bad football.
Will Johnny Manziel be the answer?  You tell me.  Are you banking on a party kid who's more concerned with hitting the clubs than the weight room?  This kids partying like hes already made it, won the Super Bowl 6x and retired into the Hall of Fame.  So no, until he starts lighting it up on Sundays, I dont want to see him anymore unless its on the football field.

But now... We have LeBron back... our guy.  Read that letter, he brought all the giddy feelings right back and I am so looking forward to that first tip of the season!  How can people post their nasty BS hater crap when so many people are happy to watch sports again?  This NE Ohio and like it or not, this area is passionate about their sports, its in our identity.  We wear brown and orange, we wear Indians gear and we love the Cavs AND THEYRE ABOUT TO BE GREAT AGAIN!

My first few points above were all based on money and business... think about that.  When the Spurs whopped the Cavs a few years ago in the Finals, the TV commentator said something like "Every home game brings in an extra $500,000 per game."  Are you freaking kidding me?  That changes lives.  That changes business.  Thats incredible and should absolutely be celebrated.  Imagine being such an awesome employee that when you go to work, your company improves AND every company near you... you cannot relate.

When in the history of this city, has a great player chosen to come here?  Never happened.  Ever.  And we have the best in the game, possibly the best ever before he's done and even further... maybe the best athlete to ever play any sport.  Who's better?  I'd love to argue that.  In basketball, its LeBron and MJ, done.  Save the Magic, Larry, Kobe nonsense. LeBron smashes all them left handed.  And people argue that Michael might be trhe best athelte ever along with Muhammad Ali and Jim Brown, so if Michael is that conversation, LeBron must be.  And if LeBron passes Michael, LeBron must pass Ali and Brown... and why not?  AND HE'S HERE!  He's wearing a Cavs uniform!  As usual, he wont be recognized for his greatness until after he retires, when he leaves a crater of greatness behind.
This guy left, regretted how he left, regretted why he left, and came back with a letter than gave me freaking goosebumps.
He wrote - But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.
How can you hate that?  "Bleh, hes not a role model... hes done" this and this and that other rumor.  Shut up.  Are you a role model?  No ones looking for him to solve world problems, he inspires greatness, he inspires kids to dream and do more and play hard and work.  He brings hope of a better image of our beaten down city.  National media still rips the city and LeBron can change that.  Why?  How?  Pay attention to the downtown economy.
He goes on - In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.   I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.
WHAT?!?!  I'm going to buy my jersey, t-shit and Cavs pajamas right now!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Good enough yet?

I refer to this story often because I feel it truly epitomizes the essence of complacency.
I was a part of a staff that was coaching a team that happened to be ranked #1 in the state by news paper reporters.   I didn't care at all and if I had my way, there would've been zero mention of it on the practice field or I the locker room.  
On the field, I have two modes, Teaching Mode and Game Mode.  When it's teaching, it's slower, it's more thoughtful, we focus on form and footing, etc.   When it's game mode, it's everything we just learned in teaching mode but as fast as possible, as hard as possible, as intense as possible, as absolutely complete as possible, looking to explode and finish every single play, every single time, no matter what. In game mode, when the ball is snapped, I want the guys thinking one thing "Go get that f'ing ball right now." And if it doesn't happen, like a bank collecting interest, the next play we now want it 10% more than we just did, and so on.   So things get intense.
One day, I'm in Game Mode and I can see the guys are in Chill Mode... So I'm ready to explode.  Things come to a head, because their apathy is ready to make my head shoot off my shoulders and one guy says to me "coach, we're undefeated... We're number 1 in the state... We're working hard... You act like it's never good enough..."

I don't remember my response, word for word, but I told him he was right. 
Imagine being strong enough to rep 100 straight push ups, but you stop at 40 because... Well, it's good enough.
Or being able to run 10 miles but you just do 2 because... Well, that's good enough.  
Imagine running a company and you just made $15,000,000 but you could've made more, but... That's good enough, no need to improve.
Imagine having the ability and the opportunity to experience greatness, why would you settle for "good enough?"

I was working w a group of guys on a project and we had to measure some things out to get the job some right.  We'd tap pieces into place and someone would say "good enough."  I cringed.   Is it right?   When it's right, it's good to go, if it isn't, there's no "good enough."
When you have goals and you have a job to do, you have responsibilities, "good enough," is going to leave you broke or unemployed, underachieving and sitting at home wishing you'd some things differently.  
"Good enough," will give you regret. 
"Good enough," will leave you with nothing, you'll be worse than a has-been, you'll be a could've-been.   I'd rather be a has-been because at least they once had it.   Could've-beens a never had it, they just should've had it. 

Problem is, too many people are too quick to pass the buck, to lean on someone else when it gets too hard, when times are tough.  They want it easy and smooth and when it hits the fan, they want the "good enough," button and get out of there.  
Tough day?  Shoot, I'm going home and chilling... Good enough.
Didn't lose weight?  Forget it, I'm having a treat... Good enough.
Missed a goal?  Whatever... Excuses, excuses, excuses... Good enough. 

Good enough is a lazy trick your mind wants you to think so you can go home and watch television and not run, not workout, not study, not put in the extra hours.  

Without a goal list, you have no plan, no vision.  Without a vision, without a passion for success and doing things w greatness, you'll always live w "good enough," on the tip of your tongue and your dreams will never ever come true.   You have to work and work and work and work and plan and prepare and work and adjust and learn and go hard.   You can't do all that "good enough."  Full go, 100% or don't bother.

The other day, I'm training and working a leg circuit from a leg press to hammy curls to calf raise.  I wasn't even counting sets, I was just going til things felt like hell.  And every round, I had to increase the weight for every move.  I'd go through a round and think "well, that round was bullshit, add weight," and so on until I reached my goal, far surpassing "good enough."  "Good enough," happened when I was pressing 560,but I needed to fill the rack and go until my legs just shooook.  Same thing goes when I'm working w the dumbbells.  I refuse to NOT use the entire set of dumbbells, I'll use every single wright available.  Why not?  I have it in my range, so doing anything less is bullshit.

Would you want to be a fan of a "good enough," team?
Do you want to be in a "good enough," relationship?
Then start placing those same demands on yourself and live up to them.  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Podcast #3 - Me and Ben

I admit, I'm a little naive when it comes to any heavy narcotics or drugs, but when my friend approached me one day, telling me he had a heroin addiction, I knew I had to start learning and work to begin his healing process.  I knew I couldn't beat anything over this head, I knew he had to see a piece of the light for himself to believe it existed, and I knew I would be able to find the right combination of words and moments to help him see what he needed to see.  
In listening to the podcast as I write this, a couple thoughts come to mind.  I asked Ben to do this with me for a couple reasons.  
1) I wanted people to hear how common heroin is or can be.  Why?  Because it can be right next door to you and you not even know it.
2) I wanted them to hear a "normal," person come clean and admit his addictions, hear the comeback and hear the possibilities.  Why?  To dissolve judgement.  To not judge someone with an addiction, to not judge someone who comes out with the addiction and to then not judge anyone for coming out.  It happens.  I know people who will think "Ya, but he..." and I want to wash that away. 
3) Don't be afraid to get involved... I know quite a few people who went through hard times, gambling issues, drug issues, drinking issues, addictions, etc, and people turned their back on them for whatever reason.  Don't doubt that you can help someone believe.  Don't be afraid to get involved. Don't turn your back on your friend.
4) I want people to hear the clean, new, optimistic version of Ben.... 

Choices surround us, 24/7.  You can choose recovery, you can choose to help or you can choose to be a victim or an observing bystander.
Get in the game.

"This past Sunday, my good friend Ben came over to discuss his into, and then out of, the world of heroin."