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Saturday, June 2, 2012

ALIVE


I love quotes. I use them all the time, I try to come up with my own, I read them on t-shirts and bumper stickers... if I'm somewhere and someone says something awesome, I try to write it down so I can remember it and pass it along. I was attending a clinic at Penn State probably 5-6 years ago, and I was sitting in on Larry Johnson, Sr.'s portion of the event. (If you're a football coach and you're looking for a clinic to attend, go to Penn State. Trust me. Larry Johnson is worth the drive and is the main reason I go. Every year, he saves the last 10 minutes or so to share some stories and add something inspirational and motivational to the day. The first time I was there, I was "wow'd" by everything and he was the absolute highlight.) Anyway, he's going through his defensive line drills and coaching points and he's starting to wrap up so he turns off his overhead projector and begins walking back and forth across the stage, sharing a story about a conversation he had with some other high school coaches and a couple of their players. Repeated how the coaches missed their high school days so much and how it was the best time in their life and the "good ole days," (a phrase I now despise) and how they try to teach their kids to cherish the moments because they'll never return and it'll never get better... ... and Coach Johnson just stood there staring at the crowd and I immediately had that crazy, old feeling running through me because I knew what was coming and it actually reminded me of the way my old coach used to talk to me.
He said "NEVER GET BETTER THAN THIS??? THEY TEACH THEIR KIDS THAT THEY HIGHLIGHT IN HIGH SCHOOL?!?!?" From here he went on a 10 minute verbal rampage, like a preacher at his most passionate, lecturing the rights and wrongs of never looking back and highlighting every single day and being opportunistic and I remember having goose bumps and literally fighting back some tears (and even right now, thinking about it, takes me right back there.) That day, that man and that speech changed me forever. Without a doubt in my mind.
Highlight every single day.
Opportunistic... I love that word. I have nights where I can't sleep because there is something I didn't get a chance to finish. I used to play video games and now I think about it and think "there has to be something better I could be doing." I had a season where I coached defensive backs (and a few coaching linebackers and calling plays) and I used to preach "be opportunistic," daily. "When that ball goes up, IT'S YOURS! Go get it!" How every single play is an opportunity to make something positive happen. HHHMMM... think that translates into real life?
Every single day, every single work day, training day, days with friends and family... or just moments!   It could be just the final seconds of your day... you could change someone elses!  It doesn't have to be a full day at all. A moment at the grocery store where you see someone who may need a hand or to just be friendly to someone you don't even know! Sound corny? Good. Because really, the days and moments aren't all about you! 
It's about us! 

They're about the finger prints and footsteps you leave... yeah, its reeeeaaaallll cheesy.  Good.  
 And it's not about being noticed or recognized either. Its about making a positive impact to IMPROVE. Improve lives, improve your life, improve your surroundings, improve the workplace, improve your home, improve your relationship, and improve the lives of the people you care about most.  If you work to improve and progress and love every single day... you will change. You will change your life and you will change your friends and co-workers.  You will change your entire world.  Your own mindset will be so blinded by your visions, nothing else will matter.  Be mindful and engaged in every moment.  I dont care what anyone says, if you work to improve this world and love... anything you ever do will be special.  I promise you.   And all that love will return back to you 10x over and you will be the luckiest, happiest person and you will then be ALIVE.
One life... live it.

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